Late Start Wednesdays Next Year for Dover-Eyota Students

Posted at: 04/09/2013 5:26 PM
Updated at: 04/09/2013 6:37 PM
By: Katie Eldred

(ABC 6 News) -- Dover-Eyota students will be able to sleep in one day a week next year. The school board approved a measure Monday night that has school starting an hour late each Wednesday.
They are hoping this late start will help students get ahead.

On a typical school day for teachers it can be difficult to find some extra time.

"You teach your classes and then you have your prep time, I spend most of that typing grades into the computer," said Dan Vrieze.

For Dover-Eyota math teacher Dan Vrieze there will now be more time for him and his fellow teachers to work together.

"We're hoping to get to the point where we can actually do a better job and say our kids need help on this topic," said Vrieze.

The school board has approved a weekly Wednesday morning hour late start.  Superintendent Bruce Klaehn says during that time teachers will meet with what they call their professional learning teams.

"The concept is to get away from having each teacher operate on their own, we want teachers to work together," said Klaehn.

Teachers will go over curriculum and other issues facing students.

"What research has shown is that the bit of lost instructional time in terms of quantity is gained in terms of quality," said Klaehn.

The school will also provide options for parents that will have schedule conflicts with the hour delay.

"We certainly know that it's a disruption in the normal routine, we've talked with other schools and how they've tried to minimize that," said Klaehn.

Each meeting will be structured and planned. Teachers like Dan Vrieze are hopeful the extra time  will help them help their students.

"Working together as a team to solve problems, like I said we never run out of anything to do," said Vrieze.

The school board approved the new schedule as a pilot program. Meaning they will test it out next year and then determine if they are going to continue with it.