DD2 to host second meeting on bell schedule

  • Thursday, September 4, 2014

Monica Kreber/Journal Scene Approximately 49 people signed in at DD2’s last bell schedule meeting, and Sean Alford is expecting that number to grow as the meetings progress.

Another community meeting on DD2’s new proposed bell schedule will be held Sept. 9 at Ashley Ridge High School, and officials are hoping for more feedback from district parents and teachers.

Approximately 49 attendees signed in at the recent meeting, held Aug. 27 at Newington Elementary. Another 20 district staff members and six presenters were also present.

Sean Alford, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for the district, is expecting even more people to show up at the upcoming meeting — and he is excited.

“We want to make the conversation a little more relevant so everyone realizes the goal is not just to necessarily tell the public what we want to do, but that we need their meaningful feedback as well,” Alford said.

The format for the next community meeting is expected to stay the same; DD2 officials have prepared a powerpoint presentation – now available on the district’s website – and parents will be allowed to write down questions and concerns on notecards, which will be collected and read aloud for officials to answer.

A common concern at Aug. 27’s meeting focused on the new high school schedule, which would have school starting at 9:15 a.m. and ending at 4:15 p.m. The idea is to allow high school students more sleep, since the current bus schedule has high school students being dropped off at school at 6:15 a.m.

At the last community meeting parents voiced concerns on how students will manage after-school jobs and practices for sports later in the evening. An idea presented in the slideshow was students could hold practice before school as opposed to after, with students still being able to sleep in slightly later instead of having to get up around 5 a.m. in order to board the school bus and get to school at 6:15 a.m.

“Even with the early morning practice we’re still in a better place,” Alford said.

Nothing is official about the new bell schedule, which would take effect for the 2015-2016 school year.

“We just haven’t taken anything off the table,” Alford said, adding he was particularly pleased with the number of district teachers who attended the last meeting. “They are the heart and soul of our school district and we have to know exactly how they feel and work with them, as well as the students.”

The meeting at Ashley Ridge High School starts at 6:30 p.m.

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