There's now a plan on the table for Wake County schools to still have time for professional learning teams for the 2010-11 school year.
Staff laid out at Tuesday's student achievement committee meeting a list of options that individual schools can pick from to hold the time once Wake Wednesdays/Wacky Wednesdays come to an end next month.
The full school board could sign off on the options Tuesday.
It's possible that some schools might not be able to meet for an hour a week or even weekly this fall. The board may have to amend the policy requiring meeting an hour a week.
High schools would have four possible options.
In option one, high schools could choose to start school a half hour later one day a week. With teachers already contractually required to come in 30 minutes before students arrive, they'd use that time plus the late start for the PLTs.
This option was used at a few high schools before this year. Buses still arrived at the regular time so administrators watched the kids until classes started.
In option two, high schools could have SMART Lunch in which the entire school is slotted to have lunch during a one-hour window. During that window, students can go off campus for lunch or stay on campus to eat and to use the remaining time to work with a teacher.
During the SMART Lunch, time would be slotted for different groups of teachers to hold their PLTs. You couldn't have all teachers meeting at the same time because some would need to be meeting with students.
In option three, teachers could meet before school or afterschool for the PLT time. The tricky thing is that teachers aren't required to come in more than 30 minutes early so you can't mandate they come in any earlier. Teachers can be required to stay after class for as long as needed if it's mandated as part of their instructional duties.
In option four, teachers could meet during common planning times during the school day. Teachers would basically give up their daily 90-minute planning period for one day a week to be in the PLT.
Middle schools would have two options.
In option one, teachers could use common planning periods.
In option two, teachers could meet after the end of the school day.
Elementary schools would have two options.
In option one, schools could create blocks of time, such as scheduling specials together, at the beginning or end of the day. Teachers could combine that time with a slot before classes began or right after they ended to meet in a PLT.
In option two, schools could hold PLTs before or afterschool.
School board member John Tedesco argued that they're giving schools more flexibility without inconveniencing families as had happened this year on Wednesdays with the weekly early dismissals.
Tedesco also argued they're saving money. He said it would have cost another $750,000 to operate even more buses this fall to continue to accommodate the extra 10 minutes a day that had been built in this year to offset the time lost on Wednesdays.
But Jennifer Lanane, president of Wake NCAE, said all they're doing is recommending the options that had been used by schools before this year. She said not all schools had met regularly before this year and fears that will be the case again this fall.
Lanane argued that if the new board majority had backed the PLTs from the start that they could have found the $750,000 to keep the banked time and continue to dismiss school early once a week. She said she would have been willing to accept having teachers meet each Friday, a position she initially opposed.
Click here for the handout from Tuesday's committee meeting, It lists the pros and cons for each option.