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July 10, 2013

Greater Clark school board has more work to do on new policy

JEFFERSONVILLE —

Students at Greater Clark County Schools will have their school day extended by 10 minutes this school year, but district officials still have to work out how teachers are affected by the move.

On Tuesday night, the district’s board of trustees approved the extension to help with scheduling IMPACT sessions — an intervention model introduced by Superintendent Andrew Melin. However, Melin said issues with teachers’ schedules and their contracted hours still need examination.

“I apologize that it’s not more concrete now but we’ve struggled because of trying to figure out all of the variables and do it in a timeframe when most of our people aren’t working,” Melin said.

John McLaughlin, Greater Clark Education Association’s chairman of the corporate discussion team, told the board that the extension ends the student day at the same time as the teacher day, which leaves no room for teachers to serve as hall, bus or parking lot monitors as school ends.

“While we believe that teachers, as they always have, step up and provide necessary supervision on a voluntary basis,” McLaughlin said. “We don’t believe the safety of our students should be left to the chance of which teacher or teachers might or might not be there on a given day after the contract [day] has ended.”

McLaughlin said the he was also concerned about the hurried nature of the change to the school day’s length and the fact that his association had not heard about it until Monday.

Melin said with so many vital pieces of information coming to parents just three weeks before school begins — including rollout dates for Chromebooks that students will use this year and information on the balanced calendar — he didn’t want to delay the decision and leave parents wondering what time school was going to let out. 

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