Sumter public school schedules will change on some days

Move will add professional development time lost by weather makeup days

BY BRUCE MILLS
bruce@theitem.com
Posted 1/19/18

Sumter School District is making some changes to school scheduling starting next week with the goal of improving student achievement.

After previously designated teacher professional development days were replaced with three weather makeup days …

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Sumter public school schedules will change on some days

Move will add professional development time lost by weather makeup days

Posted

Sumter School District is making some changes to school scheduling starting next week with the goal of improving student achievement.

After previously designated teacher professional development days were replaced with three weather makeup days for students on the calendar, the district is adding back in some time for professional development.

The district released the schedule changes Wednesday.

For elementary and middle schools, the district made two early release days for students on the calendar for teachers' professional development time. On Wednesday, Feb. 14, and Wednesday, March 28, elementary schools will dismiss at 11:30 a.m., and middle schools will dismiss at 12:30 p.m. Buses will take students home early on these days.

For the district's three high schools, each Friday - Jan. 26 through June 1 - school will start one hour later, at 9:45 a.m., to allow for teachers' professional development time in the morning. Buses will arrive one hour later on those days, according to district staff. The school day for the high schools on those Fridays will still end at 3:45 p.m. However, the three high schools will make accommodations for students who need to be dropped off at school at the regular time, district staff said.

Professional development time will be used for teacher collaboration, professional learning and instructional planning.

Acting Superintendent Debbie Hamm and district leadership have placed an emphasis on improving academic achievement since the fall, and she said they think the added teacher professional development time is necessary in core subject areas.

She said principals have identified professional development topics.

"Our schools have identified particular areas of focus with the aim of improving student achievement," Hamm said. "This time will allow teachers to advance those efforts right now rather than waiting until summer when such activities often take place."