USD 501 Elementary School Hours To Change

By: Sarah Plake, 13 News Email
By: Sarah Plake, 13 News Email

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Class times will shift at Topeka's USD 501 elementary schools starting August 2013, and not every day will be the same.

School officials say the time shifts will improve education, but parents are concerned it will be tougher for them to get their kids to class.

The school bell will ring a little later this fall in USD 501 elementary schools.

The school day will start ten minutes later - at 8:40 a.m. - and during full five-day weeks,Wednesday classes will start an hour later.

"Hopefully it'll give time for our teachers to work together and collaborate on test scores, improving their instructions," Superintendent Dr. Julie Ford told 13 News. "We're focusing a lot on K-2 reading. That'll be a major part of the collaboration."

The board made the decision in 2012 to give elementary teachers as much time for planning as middle and high school teachers.

The board hopes for better performance, but some parents are wondering about the negatives.

"I think if they need extra time they should leave the school hours the way they are and maybe meet that extra hour in the morning or after school," Angel Jordan said.

Parents are concerned about how their employers may react. "People have to work and they're going to have to adjust their whole schedule, their daycare," parent Albert Davis said. "I dont know how employers are going to deal with that as well."

"As long as they have something for parents to do with their kids then okay, but if not, then that's a real inconvenience for parents," Brandi Wright said. "They should have some way to accommodate the parents."

The district is prepared to meet those concerns.

"We're working with providers in Shawnee County that would want to come in and do some before-school programs," Ford said. "We will start breakfast, so students can come in and do breakfast. We think it won't be very disruptive. I think they'll get used to it, and like I said, there will be options for them available."

The late-start days are listed as:

August 21 & 28
September 18 & 25
October 2, 16 & 30
November 6, 13 & 20
December 4, 11 & 18
January 8, 15 & 29
February 5, 19 & 26
March 5 & 26
April 2, 9, 16 & 30
May 7 & 14

Check out more information at www.news.topekapublicschools.net


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