School Board approves early release on Wednesdays

by Joseph Back

Students at Stanley-Boyd are due to get out of class 45 minutes earlier on Wednesdays this year, after the Stanley-Boyd Area Schools Board of Education approved an early release plan as such at its regular monthly board meeting July 25.

The new time, which is to

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S-B English teacher Kayleigh Steinmetz (above left) and fourth grade teacher Danny Halterman presented along with Nancy Leibzeit on a plan for early student release Wednesdays at the July board meeting. Photo by Joseph Back. EARLY

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be 2:25 p.m. on Wednesdays, will not auect transportation, as buses will do two routes to make sure that students (especially in the lower grade levels) get home. Following student release the teachers would then meet in com mon for 55 minutes of meetings to

better collaborate. The current meet – ing time on Wednesday mornings prevents this, while moving it to after school would allow for more collab oration between teachers at diuerent grade levels, due to diuerences in schedules for elementary, middle, and high school students during the day.

"I told one new stau person that school starts at 7:20 a.m. and it's al- ways a blizzard, so to prepare for

that," Stanley -Boyd High School En- glish teacher Kayleigh Steinmetz said of teacher arrival at Stanley-Boyd and the morning routine.

As for early student release at 2:25 p.m., it has a larger benefit: closing the gaps in learning that some kids experience as they work through the grade levels through better planning.

“It’s hard to solve all those prob lems in 45 minutes," Steinmetz said

of the before school morning rush.

“So it helps to have that time when you're not cut ou." The early release on Wednesdays will give teachers the ability to collaborate across grade lev – els and better plan on how to prepare students, as a teaching team. Fourth grade teacher and S-B alum Danny Halterman laid out the thought pro – cess behind having more time for after school for teacher meeting on Wednesdays.

“How in third grade can we prep them for fourth grade, and how in fourth grade can we prep them for fifth grade?" He said of the logic behind it. As to how the early release would auect student schedules meanwhile, district superintendent Jeu Koenig shared that it would mean smaller class segments across the board in both middle and high school. School board member Toni Seidl had a ques tion of her own. "How does this auect the total minutes that we need each year?" she asked of state mandated instructional time. Koenig said that “it potentially could" auect time require- ments from outside, but that, “the question becomes: is it instructional time or not?" Overall things should be fine, he said. Verbeten asked another question.

“How does this impact the fuel budget?" he asked of running two routes on Wednesday afternoons to get kids home. Verbeten was an – swered that while it would likely be an increase, this was ouset by the fact that running two routes saved the is – sue of little kids getting on the right bus. Board member Denise Houstatter replied that reports that stau weres on board was good, but had a question as well.

“Would those paras be in with those students," she asked of addi- tional instructional time and parapro fessional stau. Eighth grade teacher and presenter Nancy Leibzeit had an answer for Houstatter.

"If it was in their IEP," she said. The initials IEP stand for "Individualized Educational Plan" and generally apply to those students with special needs, like specialized instruction.

“If approved it would start right away this fall?" Verbeten asked.

"Yes," Koenig said. Following more discussion with a motion by Verbeten seconded by Bob Geist, the early release of students on Wednes – days will start in just a few weeks— plan on it!

August 3, 2022