By Mary Spicer
VERNON TOWNSHIP —
The schedule was tweaked a bit after the discussion during last week’s work session, but Crawford Central School Board approved a change in the district’s elementary and secondary hours of operation during its monthly meeting Monday night.
The vote was 8-0 with Kevin Maziarz absent.
Beginning with the 2013-14 school year, the elementary school day for students in the Meadville attendance area will be 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Cochranton from 8:10 a.m. to 3:05 p.m. Elementary teachers would be on duty from 8:20 a.m. to 3:50 p.m. in Meadville and 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Cochranton.
The tweaking moved the secondary school day for Meadville students back by 10 minutes — from 7:40 a.m. to 2:40 p.m. The Cochranton secondary day will be from 7:59 a.m. to 2:52 p.m. Secondary teachers in Meadville will be on duty from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. while in Cochranton the hours for teachers will be from 7:49 a.m. to 3:19 p.m.
The student schedule will include two-hour delays in September, November, January, March and May and two-hour early dismissals in October, December, February and April to allow time for teacher activities including faculty meetings, department meetings, grade-level meetings, professional development, mandated Act 126 training, Pennsylvania System of School Assessment preparation and survey completion. In addition, teachers would be allowed to leave five minutes after students are dismissed on Fridays or before a holiday.
According to Crawford Central School District Superintendent Charlie Heller, the changes were inspired by a combination of factors. Elementary teachers, for example, had been expressing concern that the school day wasn’t long enough to allow them to get everything done that they needed to get done.
In addition, elementary students were either arriving at school right on time — with no time to eat breakfast — or coming in a bit late, while students with special transportation needs weren’t getting in a full day. At MASH, students were arriving at school 20 minutes early. For those students, Heller noted, moving up the start of the school day won’t change the time they board the bus.
“For years we’ve heard, ‘Why do buses always run empty?’” School Board President Jan VanTuil said. “Students didn’t want to ride the bus because they arrived at school too late or too early. I hope to see more students on the buses — so parents don’t have to take them every day.”
Mary Spicer can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.