Tyrone Area makes adjustments to bell schedule for 2006-07 school year

The Tyrone Area School Board approved a new bell schedule for the 2006-07 school year at its most recent regular meeting.
Assistant Superintendent Joanne Lang said the instructional day would be increasing about 15 minutes.
“We were having a very difficult time getting in our instructional day, especially at the elementary level,” said Lang. “With No Child Left Behind and state standards, our time was short trying to meet the demands.
“Besides, especially at the elementary level, our kids were arriving earlier,” said Lang. “The parents were dropping them off earlier anyway. So we decided if they are here let’s start earlier.”
For the 2006-07 school year, parents transporting children are being asked not to arrive before 7:50 a.m.
The schedule calls for the arrival of professional staff at 7:55 a.m. Breakfast from 7:45 to 8 a.m. with students being released to homeroom at 8 a.m. Grab-n-go breakfast will be available from 8 to 8:10 a.m. with a tardy bell at 8:10 a.m.
K4 dismissal for the a.m. session will be at 11:30 a.m. Arrival time for the K4 p.m. session is 12 noon. The student lunch period will run from 10:55 a.m. to 1:05 p.m.
The dismissal time is set for 3 p.m. with dismissal occurring from 3 to 3:25 p.m. for students and 3:25 p.m. for staff.
“We also got rid of flex time,” said Lang. “Our teachers don’t have flex time anymore. If a teacher came in early, they got to leave early once the kids were dismissed.”
Lang said the new schedule would help (elementary) teachers with planning time. The schedule will be seven and one-half hours for the teachers.
The middle school schedule calls for teachers to be at their duty stations at 7:45 a.m. with a dismissal of 3:15 a.m. At the high school, teacher arrival is listed as 7:45 a.m. with dismissal for teachers at 3:15 p.m.
The district’s middle school addition and expansion project is scheduled for completion in May and fifth graders will be moving from the elementary to the middle school.
At the middle school, grades five and six will be dismissed at 2:55 p.m. with dismissal for grade seven and eight bus students at 3 p.m. Dismissal for other seventh and eighth grade students will be at 3:05 p.m.
“With fifth grade being moved to the middle school we were able to reorganize our schedule, which was good for longer instructional days,” said Lang. “Also, we were able to condense the amount of periods for lunch. Before we used to have four lunch periods for middle school, now we are going back to three lunch periods.”
The amount of time between periods at the middle and high school is being reduced to three minutes.
“Really the kids only need three minutes in between classes,” said Lang. “We were able to take minutes from all over to increase instructional time. The instructional day was important; we needed more minutes. Our elementary teachers were having a difficult time getting their curriculum in.”
Lang mentioned another change at the middle and high school level.
“We eliminated homeroom,” said Lang. “Kids actually just go to the first period. Everything will be done at that period. Once again, we gained minutes by dropping homeroom. The other thing we did at the middle school and high school is at the end of the day (there) is (a) 35-minute advisory period. That was big because kids have band lessons, clubs and organizations. They can do all that in that period. It’s more so (new) for the high school. We redesigned it for the middle school more or less. They’ve been doing activity periods (at the middle school.)”
Lang said the time can be used for sustained silent reading and advisory issues.
“The nice thing about it is it’s the last period of the day so there are no interruptions during the day,” said Lang.
She said the middle school project would be completed around May 7 or 8. Principals will be meeting with staff to deal with moving logistics. School board members are making plans to tour the addition. Lang said an open house for the public would be scheduled at a later time.