|Updated: 8/26/2010 8:42 am
||Published: 8/25/2010 3:12 pm
The Pulaski County Special School district is working to come up with new start and stop times for elementary schools. This comes after an agreement came out of Pulaski County Circuit Court between the district and teachers suing it over the new schedule put in place this year. The agreement says the district will shorten the day back to 6 hours and 45 minutes like it was last year. Teachers said it was a violation of their union contract to make them hold their 45 minute planning period in the middle of the school day lengthening it.
Parents and teachers say the 7 hour and 30 minute school day left kids so tired and hungry they couldn't focus. "I teach fifth grade and at the end of the day I lost my students," said Brenda Robinson. She's one of the teachers who filed the lawsuit and part of the Pulaski Association of Classroom Teachers. She hopes now that the district has to decide when school starts and stops it will consider the concerns of parents with kids in all grades. Dawn Jackson is one of them. "A lot of people aren't happy with high schoolers going to school at 7:30 and the hour gap between elementary and high school," Jackson said. "Parents still need to let the district know how they feel about the start and stop times."
Superintendent Charles Hopson says district leaders are looking at traffic patterns as they re-evaluate start and stop times for all grades. They must have the new schedules in place by September 13th. Hopson said, "this gives us an opportunity, it's really a gift for us to go back and do this right."
Hopson says the new schedule may be similar to what it was last year but it won't be exactly the same. He just wants to move forward and focus on other district issues like facilities improvements and improving academic performance for students. Hopson has said his goal in lengthening the class day was to give students more time to work on subjects like math.