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SCHOOLS: Help with late starts

| June 20, 2010 10:00 PM

The Coeur d’Alene School District’s move to incorporate Teacher Collaboration through a late start on Mondays has generated a few letters to the editors recently. We want Press readers to know that we take parents’ concerns seriously and we contact each letter writer personally to resolve any issues. Some letter writers have contacted us as well.

We will be providing childcare during that extra hour for working parents who wish to avail themselves to this alternative. Our before and after childcare program, School PLUS, has more than two decades of exemplary service, providing safe, on-school-site childcare that is full of activities, homework help and nutrition breaks. The staff of School PLUS are trained, dedicated professionals who are part of each school’s team. They interact with teachers, the principal and support staff to provide a seamless, quality experience before the school day starts (as early as 6:45 a.m.) and after the school day ends (as late as 6 p.m.) This exemplary program will cover the extra hour of any needed childcare that our late-start Mondays create at little or no cost to families. No family will be denied this childcare arrangement regardless of ability to pay. We are keenly aware that, just as our district is struggling financially right now so are many of our students’ families, and we have purposefully made this arrangement to accommodate our families. Additionally School PLUS is an enterprise program, meaning it receives no district or state dollars; any assistance with childcare fees will come directly out of School PLUS funds.

Since the school day is being extended by 15 minutes per day, those who pay private daycare providers should come out even. The extra 15 minutes that students will attend school each afternoon that now will not require child care will make up for the additional hour on Monday mornings.

We are initiating collaboration time because research has shown that teachers who have time to sit down together to systematically share data and analyze classroom practices become better educators which translates into improved academic performance in their students. Our primary goal is the academic success of each and every student. We know every parent shares that goal for his or her child.

We ask that parents who have any questions or concerns about late-start Mondays or any other issue contact us directly to get answers and have their specific issues addressed.

HAZEL BAUMAN

Superintendent

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