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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Elkhart Schools consider a shorter school day

Students may have a shorter school day once a week.

Posted on Nov. 22, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Nov. 22, 2013 at 2:21 p.m.

ELKHART — Another change related to Elkhart schools’ struggle to fund transportation could be happening soon.

The board is looking into a shorter school day for students one day a week.

Part of the reason school days are longer this year is to save on transportation costs — fewer buses now transport the students.

Superintendent Rob Haworth said starting school 45 minutes later or letting students leave 45 minutes earlier one day each week would give teachers much-needed time to collaborate with each other. This year’s longer school day for elementary students has cut into the time teachers have to talk with other teachers and figure out new ways to help students.

“For our students right now, we believe it’s crucial that we put back into our day that collaboration time with teachers,” Haworth said.

Schools have improved test scores over the past several years, but without time to work together “we are fearful that the growth we had experienced won’t continue,” Haworth said.

He also said that the school corporation is doing an internal survey in which administrators can indicate which day could be shortened. Right now, it looks like that day will be Tuesday or Wednesday.

The corporation is also surveying administration, staff and some parents to figure out whether the day should be shortened by doing a late start or an early release.

The board will vote on this issue in its meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 26. The meeting is open to the public and will take place at 7 p.m. at Pinewood Elementary School, 3420 E. Bristol St.

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