Grand Island School Calendar Change Sparks Controversy | Grand Island Local News |

An occasional debate on the elimination of “early” Wednesday at Grand Island Public Schools came to a standstill between the parties at a meeting of the Grand Island Public Schools Board of Education.

The change of calendar, approved for the school year 2022-2023, according to the district announcement “will be a standard school day designed to allow for continued learning, reducing stress for families planning their first release schedule.”

The statement said the decision was made in response to the response received during the 2022 Listening Visit, and taking into account the needs of families and partnerships with building managers.

However, some teachers — including the head of the district teachers’ union — expressed dissatisfaction with the decision.

Michelle Carter, president of the Grand Island Education Association, expressed dissatisfaction with the calendar changes, but understood the purpose of the district.

“(GIEA) commends the district’s efforts to provide more time on the new Friday once a month.”

Carter noted that in discussions with districts and organizations this year GIEA stressed that teachers need planning time based on new learning provided in the professional development days of the schools.

She also expressed frustration with the way the change was introduced on Wednesday, saying it was “blind” when the issue was brought up at a recent calendar committee meeting.

In its statement, the district claimed that, “Restoration of the Hour every Wednesday provides the maximum number of blocks during the program without interruption in the days reserved for each year… year.”

During a public comment, Carter expressed his gratitude to the GIEA, but “the impression of this change is incorrect,” Carter said during a public comment. “During the listening and research tour, the teachers said that there was a lot of discussion on Wednesday — and that was true. There are too many meetings. ”

Since the plan was changed on Wednesday and preparations for a joint agreement between the districts in the past, Carter said many building managers are using the opportunity to schedule “long staff meetings, IEPs and other meetings. “

Board chairwoman Lisa Albers noted, “I’ve heard from many primary school teachers who enjoyed it, too.”

Carter said there are likely teachers who will be happy with the lack of a “two-hour staff meeting.”

However, she said, “For those of us who plan time… now I’ll have 27 kids in a class built for 25.”

Carter noticed that most of the classrooms had at least some “moral students” in their classes.

“When will I prepare for these students to succeed?”

Family problems were also addressed.

Speaking at the event, retired GIPS teacher Shellie Meyer said she had heard an argument since early on was not working for parents, to the point that students were not being recruited from time to time.

Meyer noted that Wednesday’s schedule has been around for a long time, calling it “a common task.”

Carter added, “Unfortunately… this is a daily problem regardless of when we are fired.”

Later on the agenda, the calendar was introduced as a tool.

Albers reiterated some of the good ideas she had received from primary school teachers about the calendar change, but indicated that she understood two arguments.

Board member Bonnie Hinkle said she, too, understands that there are different opinions, but “You listen to all the statements and you will not please everyone.”

She also said that some changes have been made to the calendar, but they are not necessarily permanent. Hinkle shows a brief summary of the district’s calendar.

“We tried to find out what was going on, assessed it and decided to leave. This can be one of the times we have to try it out, see how it works, evaluate it and if we need to go back to it we can. “

Board members Carlos Barcenas and Lindsey Jurgens both expressed the same sentiments.

Board member Terry Brown contributed: “I think the big wall of time will be better. I can help make a change. If it is not right, we can go back. “

The commission voted unanimously to adopt a change of calendar.

GIPS has announced that the updated edition of the ’22 -’23 calendar (English and Spanish) will be available next week.

Jessica Votipka is an education reporter at Grand Island Independent. It can be reached at 308-381-5420.

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