Late Start Mondays gaining momentum at Purdy School District

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Students finding routines while teachers study strategy

Late Start Mondays have taken shape with a few adjustments at the Purdy school district since implemented at the beginning of the school year.

Concerns about keeping students productively occupied have resolved as activities became routine.

Classes are starting at 9:11 a.m. to give teachers more training, especially in light of the introduction of more iPads throughout the district later this year.

Superintendent Steven Chancellor said counselor Jamie Temple has taken the lead in organizing activities for children as they arrive. Staff serves breakfast from 7:45 to 8:15 a.m. Kindergarten and first-grade children report to their regular classrooms for activities. Second, third and fourth graders assemble in the elementary gym before going to organized activities, rotating between athletics, art activities and character education.

Students in fifth through eighth grades gather in the high school gym, where they meet their teachers. Activities will rotate every four to six weeks. Options include family and consumer science activities, vocational agriculture projects, art and intramural games in the gym.

High school students have opted for a wider range of routines. Chancellor said some have chosen to help elementary students on their early morning activities. Others go to small group classes to work on homework, practice band or music activities or undertake club activities.

"The kids are engaged and having fun," Chancellor said. "Coaches [Eli] Enst and [Josh] Hughes have the kids running around, pooping them out. I'm surprised to see so many high school kids. They're either engaged or working quietly. I still think they'll figure out they can sleep later [at home]. It's been good."

Teachers have covered considerable ground since the program started. During the second session, faculty discussed the state's Annual Performance Review (APR) and its report on both the district as a whole and for each building. On Sept. 8, teams from each building focused on improvement plans for their grade levels, developing goals. The following week, learning teams concentrated on analyzing results from student testing and how to apply protocols for better instruction.

Training on iPads began on Sept. 22. The devices arrived in mid-September. Chancellor has personally taken charge of the faculty instruction in using the devices.

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