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School Board Approves Schedule Revisions for Next Year

The new schedule will feature an early release every Wednesday for all students.

The Menomonee Falls School Board on Tuesday approved a revised schedule for next school year, which includes an early release day on Wednesday for all students.

After several months of discussion and soliciting feedback from parents, the board unanimously passed a school schedule, which will be an adjustment next year for many Falls families.

Here’s a look at the proposed schedules for next year:

  • Menomonee Falls High School: 7:50 a.m. to 3:05 p.m., 7:50 a.m. to 1:55 p.m. Wednesdays
  • North Middle School: 7:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., 7:15 a.m. to 1:20 p.m. Wednesdays
  • Elementary Schools: 8:50 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., 8:50 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesdays
  • Kindergarten: 8:50-11:30 a.m. and 12:50-3:30 p.m., 8:50-10:50 a.m. and 12:15-2:15 p.m. on Wednesdays

In 2014-15, Wisconsin will shift its assessment standards to a more rigorous, computer-based testing system that measures different competencies in students. Teachers at all levels throughout the state are now rebuilding their curriculum and testing systems to adequately prepare students for higher academic expectations.

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Teachers would use the hour each Wednesday to meet as a collective unit, which is difficult to do with so many teachers leading extracurricular activities after school. Before school, elementary school teachers are often in individual meetings with students and parents.

During these Wednesday meetings, teachers would compose revised tests and curriculum, monitor student growth through data-driven approaches, discuss individual student performance, and train for the assessment changes. The district has also invested significantly in its best teachers and training them to prepare the rest of the staff for the transition. 

The calendar also features a Spring Break that falls before Easter Sunday rather than after. Spring Break was placed on that particular week to give students more time to prepare for placement exams, which are administered in May. 

W8forHim February 27, 2013 at 07:21 PM
less class time for students to learn, more teacher free time. hmmmmm.Parents, where are you???
RN4DRG February 27, 2013 at 08:50 PM
I filled out that survey very thoroughly, as did other parents I know. Unfortunately what we think is best for our children is not what the district is best for their teachers. It would have been far less disruptive to have the teachers come in one hour early once a week than to shorten the school day by an hour once per week. Just another disappointment from our school board.
RN4DRG February 27, 2013 at 08:52 PM
I still haven't gotten an answer back about compulsory teacher attendance at these so-called weekly meetings either.
atthec44 February 27, 2013 at 09:27 PM
This seems like it benefits the teachers more than the students or taxpayers.
Melissa February 27, 2013 at 09:45 PM
Don't complain now that it's over. Where was everyone at the school board meetings where this was discussed? The parents that were there left after their child's portion of the meeting was over. I don't see how this is a positive change for the students, but apparently most people didn't care. At least that's how it looked as the crickets chirped at the meeting.
W8forHim February 27, 2013 at 10:31 PM
I am not blaming the parents for this change in school schedule! I ask why it is even a proposal to shorten a school day for the children so that teachers can prep???? I believe that most if not all teachers get at least one hour per day in their school schedule for "prep time" already! I predict that most parents have not even heard of this proposal and will first hear about it in the Fall when they realize one day per week their child(ren) will be home from school earlier than the rest of the week! That is when the uproar will occur, unfortunately! It is my opinion that the school board meetings are packed with teachers and relatives of teachers. Those that want to be informed are far, far out-numbered and are of little importance as the votes are taken. Parents need to approach every one of the elected school board members to register their disagreement with this teacher perc that takes precious teaching time away from their children!
jtm February 27, 2013 at 10:32 PM
Just moved to the falls. Are these the same board members that passed that eleventh hour contract?
Melissa February 27, 2013 at 10:44 PM
Craig, no offense taken. Actually, yes, I was around for the teacher's contract. I attended the meetings and called each and every one of the board members to request that they not vote for the contract. I do understand why people did not show up. I felt like the early release was presented as a done deal from the very first informational meeting at North. There were already prepared answers for the most likely objections. I just get frustrated when people complain after the fact.
Steve ® February 28, 2013 at 12:56 AM
A few new ones now like Paul tadda. Which makes me think what's p with this. http://www.paultadda.com/
RN4DRG February 28, 2013 at 02:54 AM
Melissa, I was not able to attend the meeting because I went to my daughter's band concert which happened to be scheduled at the same time as the meeting. I filled out the survey as a way to convey my concerns. Obviously the survey wasn't worth the amount of time I spent completing it. I also sent e-mails with specific questions. Please don't assume all parents weren't actively attempting to thwart this ridiculous schedule change.
Melissa March 04, 2013 at 01:23 AM
RN4DRG, I do not assume that all parents were doing nothing; to me it just seemed like a large number were. May I ask, did you get any responses to your questions? I would agree that the survey was not worth it. I also felt the way it was presented at the school board meeting was a waste of resources. One question per page, huge color graphic. It could have been done in one or two pages, in black and white and still been very understandable.
Anastasia March 04, 2013 at 01:56 AM
I am happy about the school hours changing. As the parent of an advanced student I have noticed a huge difference this year in the time her teachers have been able to spend giving her work at her level. Our teachers are currently rebuilding their entire curriculum which means if your child is below average or above they are not getting as much attention to their personal needs.
RN4DRG March 04, 2013 at 03:37 AM
Unfortunately Melissa, I haven't gotten a response to any of my questions. I think the district assumes a lot about the working parents who have children attending the elementary schools, and are insensitive to the financial burden and the stress a schedule change can place on a family with young children. I am also in serious doubt that ALL of the teachers will spend EVERY Wednesday afternoon in meetings, and instead this will morph into an afternoon for making appointments and doing personal errands.
Heather March 06, 2013 at 05:32 PM
So you're telling me that the teachers can't meet for an hour before/after school one day a week? Each department should pick a day... clubs/study groups can meet on the other 4 days of the weeks. Athletics practice can be lead by the team captain and/or assiastant coach (who is likely to be in a different department and have a different day). Here, I'll solve the problem. Look at all this time they have: Elementary: 8:00 - 8:35 & 3:45 - 5:00 Middle: 2:30 - 5:00 High: 3:15 - 5:00
Steve ® March 06, 2013 at 05:36 PM
Nope. The teachers already have a hectic enough schedule. Working 8 months out of the year with 3 off in the summer is brutal. How dare you demand they stay at work after 3pm. It would be almost dark if they got out at 4-5pm. That is dangerous.
EricaG March 06, 2013 at 10:31 PM
Read the documents for this - there are MORE classroom hours next year with the new schedule than there are now.
Melissa March 06, 2013 at 10:49 PM
EricaG, I have looked at the information. Adding a few minutes here and there do not equal over an hour of uninterrupted instruction. It's a slight of hand to say there is more classroom hours.
RN4DRG March 06, 2013 at 11:01 PM
You're absolutely right Melissa. It's a complete joke, and I will be very interested to see how the test scores trend in the next several years.
jerry mislang March 07, 2013 at 03:43 PM
Practices can't be led by a team captain for a variety of reasons, with someone getting seriously hurt with no adult supervision at the top of the list; those are lawsuits waiting to happen. I don't think many 9th graders are ready to run a practice. Many of the frosh and JV teams don't have assistant coaches, and in some cases there probably coaches from the same department.
Di Atribe March 07, 2013 at 04:43 PM
This plan was cast years ago. They telegraphed it far enough in advance we had the opportunity to get our boys into a different school with a more level-headed outlook on education, a more disciplined student body, and higher standards. It rhymes with Schmermantown Bligh Schmool.

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