May 10, 2012

Class schedule sticking point

Class schedule sticking point

Negotiations with Garrison educators this year aren’t strictly about the dollars in their paychecks.
The issue that remains on the table is about defining the school day, as the administration considers going from a seven to an eight-period day and some restructuring of the school schedule to help struggling students.
Recently, the class periods in one day were shortened from 50 minutes to 37. About 60 students in grades 7-12 were given remedial help, while students with parents’ permission were dismissed at 2:35 p.m. Since missed assignments are cited as the most common reason students receive poor grades, the time was for students to finish missed assignments or to meet with a teacher for individual instruction. The same arrangement will take place as least two more times before the end of this school year.
Superintendent Steve Brannan said at a negotiation meeting Monday evening that it was encouraging to see students complete missed assignments and improve their grades. High School Principal Jim Upgren agreed; he said he heard from teachers that it was a positive step. He said most of the students needing remedial help were in grades 7 and 8, although there were students in all secondary grades.
The problem is the new approach doesn’t meet the teacher’s contract, which says:

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