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Portsmouth Looks at Starting School Late for Teacher Development

The Portsmouth School Committee is considering a proposal to start school 75 minutes late once a month. The late start would give teachers time for professional development.


The Portsmouth School Committee is expected to vote in June on a proposal to start school late one day per month next year, according to a release on the school district's Web site Wednesday. 

The proposal, if approved, would result in all Portsmouth schools beginning  one day per month during the 2012-2013 school year. 

The delays would result in a total reduction of 11.25 hours for the school year. 

Superintendent Lynn Krizic presented the proposal before the School Committee Tuesday night. 

According to the meeting's highlights, the plan would give teachers and administrators the opportunity for professional development. 

The plan provides teachers and administrators with the opportunity to meet once per month (second Wednesdays beginning in September and ending in May) for approximately 75 minutes to discuss in department/grade level(s) professional learning communities District wide initiatives (e.g., new math and science curriculum); School level school improvement efforts; Curriculum alignment discussions; Implementation of Common Core Standards, Power Standards and Proficiency Scales; and provide the opportunity for staff to analyze student work and student data on a timely basis.

The late starts would be held on the second Wednesdays of the month, September through May. The selected dates are Sept. 12, Oct. 10, Nov. 14, Dec. 12, Jan. 9, Feb. 13, March 13, April 10 and May 8. 

The school district last year. According to the school district, "64 percent of families did not believe late starts would be problematic for their families." 

Students who would need to be brought to school at the regular time would be kept in "supervised study halls." 

"Supervision at no cost to families would be provided to students whose parents need to bring them to school at their regular start times," according to the district's press release. 

"...Each school will also provide supervised study halls for students whose parents need to bring them to school at their regular school hours.  can accommodate keeping students an additional hour at no cost to their families."

Changes to the bus schedule will cost $20,000, according to the school district. 

The school committee is expected to vote on this proposal on June 12. 

East side May 23, 2012 at 07:20 PM
This is crazy and costly. There is enough of time off for teachers to use this available time to take care of their development. For example, if a teacher is getting a masters degree (ie. the new PMS VP), they do it on their time. They don't do it during the teaching day and then ask students to show up when they are available.
Priscilla Smyth Thayer May 23, 2012 at 09:51 PM
Hmm- who will pay for Day Care on that day? My family and everyone elses! Aren't there days set aside already for development? I think the School Department and Committee need to poll families and caregivers for a solution. Our input is important since we are paying their salaries.
Donna May 23, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Why in the world would it cost over $2200 each time they start late? That sounds ridiculous.
JEWL4 May 23, 2012 at 10:01 PM
How about the teachers stay late 1 day a month for 75 minutes like the rest of us in the real working world Woud have to. This way there would be no daycare needed or changes to the bus schedule . I can imagine me telling my boss that I need to be late 75 minutes once a month so that I can take care of my children. I think he would tell me to find a new job.
jbs May 23, 2012 at 11:51 PM
Once again, we use this forum to teacher bash. It's simple math people....the school department pays teachers once a month for 90 min.manditory professional development. So, let's have students come in late once a month so we don't have to pay for professional development costs.
East side May 23, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Sometimes the truth hurts and in this case (every year this topic comes up), the truth is about numbers. It costs too much for what the teachers want and it costs too much for the parents. teacher bashing would be to state that this is the best part time job in America however, let's not go there just yet.
Priscilla Smyth Thayer May 24, 2012 at 03:25 AM
I am not bashing teachers but criticizing a possible scheduling conflict for many working families in our town. Our teachers do need professional development to enhance their skills and to be able to effectively teach the planned curriculum. The teachers have been doing a fabulous job.
Former Ports resident May 24, 2012 at 10:31 AM
Jewl4 you are absolutely right here. If the kids have summer reading and other assignments on their time so can the teachers.
Seagirl May 24, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Absolutely rediculous! How about the teachers rework their contracts and have an earned time bank instead of sick/vacation etc. This way they will have ample time and it will not effect the children. I also need professional development credits in my profession and I receive 1 day a year paid-the rest is up to me..my time..my money, no payment from my employer. To even consider inconviencing the children and the families of Portsmouth is absurd.
East side May 24, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Great idea!!!
T. May 25, 2012 at 01:18 AM
This is coming from administration NOT the teachers. I don't know any teacher who works a '' part time Job'. Most are in work early and staying late THEN going home and continuing working OR returning to school for activities. Get off teachers backs. Honestly , professional development is usually geared to BS from the administration and has nothing to do with the education of our kids. AGAIN, administration are pushing this NOT teachers.
T. May 25, 2012 at 01:29 AM
FYI. I too would have to find child care to cover my kids. If they go ahead with this they need to not only offer the early drop off at school but it needs to be available from the the same time as the first school bus pick up time .
rkj June 02, 2012 at 11:03 PM
build a new gym !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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