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Campus Connection for March 9, 2012

Article Date: 
9 March, 2012 (All day)

The Morgan County School District is moving forward with its implementation of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs).  The purpose of these communities is to establish time for teachers and administrators to work together for staff and curriculum development.  As shown through the successes of other districts including Wasatch, Duchesne, and Park City, this collaboration across schools and within departments will help us continue to provide and improve  on the high-quality education you’ve come to expect from our students.

Currently, both elementary schools have an early release on Thursday, and the middle school has a late start on Wednesday. This schedule does not allow for common planning times and has caused some transportation problems with over-crowding.  As the high school moves to PLCs, another issue arises as to how to maintain after-school and extra-curricular programs for secondary schools.  

A committee comprised of teachers, administrators and community council members have been working on the matter for several weeks and are prepared to make a recommendation to the Morgan County School Board related to common Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) times for the 2012-13 school year. Throughout the process the committee has agreed that PLCs will be held on the same day to simplify scheduling. 

The basis for the recommendation came as a result of a recently completed survey of staff members and parents and deliberation amongst committee members.

Results of the survey were as follows:

Question 1:  Would you support a combination schedule? Middle school and high school students would have a late start once a week and elementary school students would have an early release on the same day. - 67.9% yes and 32.1% no.

Question 2:  Would you prefer an early release on the same day for all schools? - 64.4% yes and 35.6% no.

Question 3:  Which day of the week would you support for all schools to hold PLCs? - 17. 4% Monday, 35.9% mid-week and 46.7% Friday.

After discussing the results carefully and consulting with other school districts the committee has voted to make the following recommendations to the Board:  

First Choice - Combination mid-week. Morgan High School and Morgan Middle School would have a late start at 9:30 A.M. Elementary schools would have an early release, 1:15 P.M. for Mountain Green Elementary and 1:25 P.M. for Morgan Elementary.

Second Choice - Early release for all schools on Monday. Morgan High School at 12:30 P.M. and Morgan Middle School at 12:35 P.M. Mountain Green Elementary at 1:15 P.M., and Morgan Elementary at 1:25 P.M.

Third Choice - Combination on Friday. Morgan High School and Morgan Middle School would have a late start at 9:30 A.M. Elementary schools would have an early release, 1:15 P.M. for Mountain Green Elementary and 1:25 P.M. for Morgan Elementary.

Committee members voiced considerable concerns about conducting PLCs on Friday.  Attendance rates could be lowered due to the proximity of the weekend.  It would also be a challenge keeping students focused on the last day of the week with an early release.  Educators prefer meeting within their PLCs and with students and parents earlier in the week in order to provide time for remediation and consultation.  Most of the districts studied have found greater success either on a Monday or mid-week.  These same districts caution not to hold them on a Friday.

The board meeting will be held at Mountain Green Elementary on March 13, starting at 5:00 P.M.  Interested parties are invited to attend.