News and Tribune

Education/Schools

April 5, 2014

West Clark extends school day by 10 minutes

Extension deals with flooding cancellation, not snow

HENRYVILLE — Another 10 minutes were added to the school day for West Clark Community Schools at a board meeting Thursday.

After heavy flooding closed schools April 4, Superintendent Monty Schneider said extending school for 10 minutes for 36 days will make up for the day, ensuring students finish the year on June 9.

“Ten minutes at the end of the day should not cause any severe hardship for any parent,” Schneider said. “Going into the next week, if we would have to do that on June 9, I think a lot of people already have plans, both staff and students.”

After missing several days of school to snow, the district already took half of its spring break to make up days.

Schneider said the extended school days will begin Thursday, April 17, and end on June 6.

The measure passed the board unanimously.

The board also heard an explanation as to why no highly effective teachers were recognized in the district after a state report on teacher effectiveness was released earlier this week.

John Reed, assistant superintendent, said the definitions of highly effective, effective, improvement needed and ineffective are different in each school district. But at West Clark, their teacher contract doesn’t have a fourth definition for highly effective teachers.

“Our information that came out said we don’t have any highly effective teachers, and there’s a reason for that,” Reed said. “We’re still bound by our old contract and our old contract does not have that kind of designation in it.”

He said the contract expires in 2016, but in the meantime, a teacher evaluation committee is working hard to make sure they have a definition of highly effective teachers that works for them.

“Our teachers’ evaluation committee has actually kind of struggled with that terminology anyway,” Reed said. “What exactly is a highly effective teacher and how do you define that?”

Each district in Clark and Floyd counties have a different teacher evaluation model, which brought criticisms from officials in each corporation that comparisons from one school system to another may not make any sense. As West Clark continues to refine their model to include the four designations, they want to make sure it’s something that’s fair.

“The one thing that we have stressed is that whatever we come up with as a recommendation, it’s something we strove to make sure is respectful to our profession,” Reed said.

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