State College District changes school hours

State College District changes school hours

In a historic moment for the State College Area School District, the SCASD Board of Directors on Dec. 18 approved extending the elementary school day and beginning the middle school and high school days later changes intended to improve student learning experiences starting in the 2018 2019 school year. The vote was 8 1 with board member Laurel Zydney opposing it. for an additional 39 minutes of learning time, including more core instruction and a fifth weekly special period. The day will be six hours and 50 minutes, compared to the current six hours and six minutes, among the shortest elementary days in the state. Last spring, the State College Area Education Association, representing teachers, voted for contact changes that allowed the student day proposal to be developed fully. historic proposal has my full support, Superintendent Bob O said to the Board before the vote. doubt, this change would be a defining moment for our district. O said he couldn think of bigger impact on students K 12 learning experiences than giving elementary students more time with highly trained, caring teachers. is no doubt in my mind that this would be a monumental step forward, having a lasting impact on generations of our community youth, he said. Board President Amber Concepcion said she appreciated the community engagement throughout the proposal development, during which feedback also helped the district reassess homework and recess policies for more consistency. She added that the plan will not only give students more time with highly trained teachers, but also will provide more critical planning time for the teachers adjusting to recent curriculum changes. think providing the blocks of time that are guaranteed in the school day for teachers to work together and do their own lesson planning is really going to help with the process of implementing curriculum, Concepcion said, later adding about the plan: I think this will be best for the greatest number of our students, and that really where I coming from. Board member Amy Bader cited Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu quote, you do not change direction, you may end up where you are going, in expressing her approval of the proposal. She noted the SCASD community always has insisted on education for all children. before us, is the opportunity for us to do better, and to do better for more children, many of them who need it the most,
State College District changes school hours
Bader said. Based on parent and teacher focus groups and a survey to K 5 parents, the administration recommended that the fifth special teach a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum over two other options: world language and culture and personal development. With the Board approving the recommendation, the STEM curriculum will be developed next year with the assistance of local STEM experts and will complement the present K 5 science curriculum. for the middle schools and the high school but continue for the same duration as now. The later start will better align with adolescent sleep patterns, helping students be more alert and engaged during morning classes, though the plan also includes an optional morning zero period to provide scheduling flexibility for students participating in afternoon extracurricular activities. The district now plans to expand the current course selections to include online, hybrid and zero period options. The estimated total annual expense for the changes will be $1,455,000, including transportation and fifth special staffing and curriculum expenses. The district also will have a one time expense of $450,000 the first year only. More information about the plan, including its history, is on the student day proposal website. The Board also unanimously approved: The purchase of two digital high definition video systems, one for the new high school and one for Panorama Village Administrative Center. Board member Dan Duffy suggested separate motions might be in order, noting the potential educational value of a system for high school students to use but wondering about the worth of a PVAC system. In light of the cost of the district current building projects, he said might be good to distinguish from what the district needs for the immediate future and what could be useful down the road. In response to Board President Amber Concepcion question about the need for the PVAC equipment, Finance and Operations Officer Randy Brown said a boardroom system would not only enhance C NET Board coverage but also provide a backup system and perhaps help with teacher and staff professional development. Duffy said the uses beyond twice a month board meetings made a difference to him. it becomes a need rather than a want, he said, voting for the single motion. The bid award for a $155,000 replacement air conditioning chiller unit for Easterly Parkway Elementary. A parking reduction agreement with State College Borough for State High. A change order for the high school phasing project. Ten State High Project change orders. A land use agreement with Penn State to store equipment for the Corl Street Elementary renovation project. Board member Dan Duffy said the district was fortunate to have space next to the small Corl Street parcel for storing construction equipment. great cooperation with Penn State, said Director of Physical Plant Ed Poprik in agreement. Discussion/information Finance and Operations Officer Randy Brown and Assistant Business Administrator Donna Watson provided an update about the 2018 2019 district budget development. Brown said current revenue and expense projections and tax assumptions indicate the district will be able to afford the student day proposal expenses. Assistant Superintendents Vernon Bock and Will Stout presented a revised draft 2018 2018 calendar. The first day of school was moved to Monday, Aug. 27. A snow make up day scheduled for Dec. 21 was removed. The last day of school was moved to June 7 from, as initially scheduled,
State College District changes school hours
June 11.