Seven districtwide late-start Wednesdays will not take place during the upcoming school year as previously planned, Putnam City Superintendent Fred Rhodes said.
The district had planned for classes to begin 90 minutes later on those seven Wednesdays, to allow time for teachers to go through additional training and planning.
“At this time, we will delay the implementation of districtwide late-start Wednesdays and strive to find additional ways to provide professional development time for teachers,” Rhodes said during Monday's school board meeting.
Putnam City officials proposed the idea to school board members in April. In May, information was shared with parents.
The program was conceived as a response to significant state-mandated shifts in education. Teachers would have reported at their regular times on those Wednesdays and spend the first 90 minutes of the day in intensive professional training.
Rhodes said the concept has its merits.
“We commend those who have been working to implement this plan. We applaud them for being creative in their attempt to find additional time that is so desperately needed for teacher professional development,” Rhodes said.
Rhodes said he wants the district to explore other ways teachers can get time for training that do not interrupt the schedules that students and families are used to.
The program would have provided time for teachers to deepen their understanding of new common core state standards and a required new teacher evaluation system.
Rhodes stressed that postponing implementation of the districtwide late-start Wednesdays will have no bearing on high school late-start Wednesdays already in place. For several years district high schools have started 30 minutes late on Wednesdays to allow extra time for teachers to collaborate about student instruction. High school late-start Wednesdays will continue.