The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

January 21, 2014

Neosho students may attend classes half day on Fridays next school year

Officials: Move would allow more time for teacher training

NEOSHO, Mo. — Neosho School District Superintendent Dan Decker on Monday night told the Board of Education that he will propose for next school year a half day of school for students on Fridays.

He said the release time would be 12:20 p.m. Now, Friday dismissal is an hour earlier than the rest of the week, at 2:20 p.m. Depending on the school, the start time for students is 7:45 to 8 a.m., and release time Mondays through Thursdays is 3:10 to 3:20 p.m.

The idea is more planning and collaboration time for teachers, he said.

Decker said the initial reaction from parents he has heard from has been in opposition.

“People are very concerned about the loss of face time with students,” he said.

Board President Brett Day said he also had received calls from parents, primarily about how to provide child care for their children.

Decker said he’s working for the district to try to provide child care options for parents, including the possibility of using grant funds or enlisting school paraprofessionals for an after-school program.

During a break in the meeting, Decker said he started the practice when he was superintendent in Aurora, and it’s still done there. He said teachers knew there would be a specific time for professional development, rather than trying to schedule and remember a time from one week to the next.

“It will give staff more collaboration time,” Decker said. “It will give teachers time for professional development.”

He said the state requires students to be in school at least 1,044 hours during a school year. His plan provides 1,070 hours of school time.

“We’ll meet that requirement,” Decker said.

Spring Smith, Central Elementary School PTO president, said she had heard of the idea only minutes before being asked about it by a reporter, so she hadn’t fully thought it through. She said the child care aspect doesn’t concern her because she is a stay-at-home mom, but when she re-enters the work force, she may have a different opinion.

“I can see it from both standpoints,” Smith said. “I’m all right with it.”

Valerie Garrett, PTO president at Carver Elementary School, said she is in favor of the plan. She said she has heard positive comments from other parents. She said it was good that the school district was getting the word out early so parents can make arrangements.

“It seems pretty positive,” Garrett said. “Personally, I can just leave on my lunch break to pick up my kids. They already get out early on Fridays, and this only moves it back a couple of hours.”

Garrett said she volunteers at the schools, and teachers often use substitute teachers to cover their classrooms when they schedule training time. She said the substitutes are good, but it’s not the same as having the regular classroom teacher.

“I know it makes a big difference when they have a sub,” she said. She said the prearranged teacher training time on Fridays would avoid that practice.



Finland’s way

NEOSHO SUPERINTENDENT DAN DECKER said Finland sometimes is seen as a country with an ideal education system. He said that in his conversations with a graduate student from Finland, he learned that schoolchildren there are in class about 600 hours a year. Information from the Center for Public Education supports Decker’s numbers.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Pseudoephedrine sales in Pittsburg to require prescription

    Starting Friday, those who purchase pseudoephedrine and related products in Pittsburg will need a prescription to do so.

    July 22, 2014

  • Cherokee County Commission accepts general counsel's resignation

    Kevin Cure, who has served as general counsel for the Cherokee County Commission since 2005, submitted a handwritten resignation to the board on Monday in the aftermath of a landfill controversy.

    July 22, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Parents can get help with school supplies

    I don’t know much about demographics other than the fact that I no longer belong to a “targeted demographic.” When I was younger, I was bombarded by commercials and ads from companies that were trying to sell me things that I not only needed but wanted.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jasper County Commission reviews traffic plans

    The Jasper County Commission will hold public hearings today and Thursday on a number of traffic changes proposed in the county. No one spoke when the first hearing was held Tuesday as part of the regular commission meeting, according to Jim Honey, Eastern District associate commissioner.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin school board reviews audit procedures

    A team from the Missouri State Auditor’s Office has begun requesting documents in its task to audit the operations and management of the Joplin School District, the audit manager told the Board of Education on Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin man to stand trial in accident case

    A passenger accused of causing an accident on Interstate 44 in Joplin that injured three others as well as himself was ordered bound over for trial Tuesday on three felony counts.

    July 22, 2014

  • r072214soroptimist3.jpg Volunteers spend week providing camp experience to foster youths

    Karen McGlamery is a massage therapist. Terri Falis-Cochran is a finance manager. Jane McCaulley is a retired art teacher. But for a week each summer, the three are among dozens of area residents who become camp counselors.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Neosho school board hires company to manage substitutes

    Citing its hopes of shifting health care costs and utilizing more time from retired teachers, the Neosho Board of Education granted a contract Monday to a temporary employee company to manage its substitute teacher program.

    July 22, 2014

  • Main Street TIF district study to begin

    A measure that allows the city to charge its $15,000 in administrative costs for studying a proposal to create a tax increment financing district on South Main Street was approved Monday by the Joplin City Council.

    July 21, 2014

  • Carthage man pleads guilty in sexual abuse case

    A Carthage man pleaded guilty Monday to sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl in a plea agreement that would cap the length of his prison term at no more than 15 years.

    July 21, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

A state lawmaker who is one of two doctors in the Oklahoma Legislature is insisting that unaccompanied immigrant minors being housed at Fort Sill be quarantined. Do you think those kinds of measures should be taken?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter