BOE Makes Decision On Schedules

usd383schoolboardThe first readings for the schedules in the USD 383 school district was finally voted on during the regular business meeting on Wednesday.

Taking each group separately, the Manhattan Ogden school board discussed the elementary schools, came to a decision and then moved on to the high school.

During the discussion, there was concern from member Leah Fliter of the inequality that was being presented between the two groups, as some of the board seemed to be “pitting the two against each other.”

Board Member Walt Peseresi clarified he was not implying high school teachers should have collaboration time, but that the board should be considering only “the best option” for the elementary teachers.

The options, as described in the board packet, stated “Plan A (Best) increases individual planning time within the school day to 330 minutes per week, provides for one 60 minute period each week for grade level collaboration within the school day, provides for four days of building professional development, four days of district professional development, and includes eight early releases for collaboration.”

What the board, however, decided would be the best way to move forward would be to choose “the better option” and vote 5-1, with Peseresi dissenting, to support “Plan B (Better) for the elementary which would include increases planning time within the school day to 330 minutes per week, provides for four days of building professional development, four days of district professional development and includes eight early release for collaboration.”

The high school was a bit more complex as there were five recommended motions to go over.

The board passed recommendations one, two, three, and five with a unanimous vote, but recommendation four, or R4, was a bit more challenging as Peseresi requested it be voted on separately.

R4’s recommendation was “to direct district and Manhattan High School administration to continue exploration of a modified block schedule for 2014-2015 that maintains 7 classes per semester options for students and enhances collaboration and professional development time for instructional staff.”

This passed with a 5-1 vote, with Peseresi dissenting.

After the discussion of the schedule, Peseresi left the meeting leaving the rest of the items for the remaining board.

The remaining board members unanimously agreed to the rest of the new business items with very little questioning.

These included the first reading of the Head Start and Early Head Start grand refunding application for 2013-2014, the first reading of the memorandum of understanding of use for the City of Manhattan and USD 383, a final reading for the skilled school bus mechanic, a final reading for the radio system proposal, and for three bids.

The approval of the bids allowed for transportation software, the HVAC system at Amanda Arnold, and also the playground at Marlatt.

Due to the late hour of the meeting, the final item on the agenda, the discussion over common core standards, was tabled until the meeting, which due to Spring break for the district will be held on March 27.