SPRINGDALE, Ark. — With schools starting back soon, change has become the only constant.
From CDC mandates to virtual learning, kids and parents are constantly being asked to adapt. A big change coming to Springdale schools this year is a shorter day for students on Wednesdays.
"We will be getting out 80 minutes early every Wednesday," said Springdale teacher Wendy Cain. "This is a huge commitment from the Springdale school board and administration. They’re getting behind their teachers, they’re putting their money where their mouth is. They’re giving teachers the time that we need."
Time that teachers like Cain and James Cooper have barely been able to find in the past.
"A big challenge was trying to find that time during our normal schedules to have a team meeting with the other teachers of a grade level without taking away too much from our instructional time," Cooper said. "Discussing it at lunch, in the hallway, staying after school, extended hours. Phone calls, texts in the evening and that’s our family time."
Family time that now won't have to be interrupted. With this new schedule, teachers will have time set aside to meet as one team and come up with ideas and strategies to help every single kid.
"With these early dismissals that we’re going to be doing, it’s nice that we have this time that is protected, that allows us to not lose any classroom time with our kids. It allows us to be with our kids throughout the day, but then still have that time where we meet with our teams in a collaborative effort, going over what we’ve done and seeing how we can improve," teacher Michelle McEntire said. "So now, just having that time where we’re all going to be meeting at the exact same time and having those opportunities to say 'hey, what do we need to be doing better?'"
The schedule change actually has a ripple effect: every kid likes getting out early, even if it's just one day a week. And teachers get the much needed time to collaborate to help come up with plans to improve student success.
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