It has been a great week back after a wonderful PTO event on the weekend. Hopefully you took my challenge and got to know someone new at our mixer. Now the work of the school year progresses in earnest.
First, we need to let you know about some schedule issues that will be affecting us in the coming weeks, starting with next Wednesday. When planning this year’s calendar, we were faced with important work this semester on finishing our comprehensive review of the school through the accreditation process. Like last year, we need time to complete this work and finish our report by December. We scheduled, as we have done in the past, half days of school for students with staff continuing their work in committees and focus groups in the afternoon. We have three of these that were established on the calendar last fall:
- September 13
- October 4
- November 8
This will be the last use of half days for ASW for the foreseeable future and is directly linked to our accreditation work, which is all but complete with these final reports and forums.
When we shifted the Wednesday early dismissal to late start, and our calendar decision to use Wednesday’s for accreditation work, we noted the conflict and understood that both together reduced the length of the day beyond a usable number of hours. Seeking to assure a minimum half day of instructional time, we decided to make these three Wednesdays a normal start time rather than change the half days to other dates. This is noted on all of our calendars and we are also sending reminders in other communications to make sure that all parents are aware for our first iteration of this next week. Overall, the Wednesday late start has gone very well and we believe this feature of our schedule will carry forward. But, it is unlikely that we will consider half day dismissals in future calendars.
Next month I’ll begin the process of gathering input from all on our calendars for 2018-2019 and also 2019-2020. I’ve carefully captured feedback from prior discussions and we will begin the drafting process now in preparation for ultimate board adoption in December.
Finally, my thanks to parents for their ongoing support of our grade level trips at all divisions. Students, despite the wet conditions, are enjoying their excursions and engaged in important activities that will become a foundation for their learning and collaboration throughout the year. My thanks to all who assisted in preparation and our sincere appreciation for the teachers and administrators who put in extra time and talent to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.