Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough school panel considers late starts for Mondays

TAMPA — Got kids? You may also need an understanding boss.

Public schools in Hillsborough County might start an hour later on most Mondays.

A committee empaneled to find alternatives to early-release Wednesdays will recommend that teachers this fall be given planning time for the first hour of one school day a week.

Although the School Board can choose any day, those at Monday's meeting felt the beginning of the week would work best.

They did not come by the recommendation easily. Most preferred to add several teacher planning days to the calendar, but were stopped by the $100 million price tag.

"There is no plan we can come up with that someone will not object to," said parent member Bruce Newman, calling the late-start-Monday idea "an intelligent compromise."

Responding to teacher requests for planning time, the school district began scheduling the early-release days in 2008. They increased in number in 2009 as the district struggled to raise teachers' pay.

Backlash came from parents who felt their children were shortchanged and their jobs were in jeopardy. The committee of school employees and parents has been discussing alternatives since the fall.

Under the option discussed Monday, children who arrive at school at the usual time can take part in early-morning day care and instructional activities.

Scholarships would be available for those who cannot afford the nominal fees.

But buses would run an hour late. That wrinkle could cause problems for parents who rely on bus transportation — particularly in middle school, which starts at 9 a.m.

Dave Crawford, who has one child in Lutz's McKitrick Elementary School and another at Martinez Middle, said he and his wife already leave for work too early to wait for their older child's bus.

"Wow," he said when he heard about the proposed change. In what he acknowledged was a selfish viewpoint, he said he prefers early release days, as his children attend after-care programs.

When asked if teachers need the designated planning time, he said, "every teacher at Martinez and McKitrick is wonderful, and a lot of us think of it as our own private school. I have nothing bad to say. But, man! When you think of your job and my job, everybody gets work thrown upon them. Why is that any different?"

Committee members said that, although a handful of parents have objected to the late-start idea, far more seem opposed to the early-release days.

Among the benefits of a late start: Lunchtime will not be disrupted. After-school activities will not need to be rescheduled. And people will be less likely to use the flawed label "half days."

"One hour is a very different mind-set than two," said Melissa Erickson, president of the Hillsborough Council of PTAs and co-chairwoman of the committee.

The School Board will discuss the plan, and other calendar-related issues, at a workshop Jan. 25.

Member Candy Olson said she would prefer planning time during the regular school day, without a disruption to the schedule, and with the children engaged in educational activities while the teachers are meeting.

"We have to work with the teachers," she said. "But we also have an obligation to work with the community."

Marlene Sokol can be reached at sokol@sptimes.com or (813) 624-2739.

Hillsborough school panel considers late starts for Mondays 01/10/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 7:48am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Chasing 125: Bucs hope to hit rushing goal more often

    Bucs

    Ever so often, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter pulls back the curtain a bit and shares some of the stats that matter to him most as a coach.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017.
  2. Two Boca Ciega students arrested on charges they brought gun to high school football game

    Crime

    PINELLAS PARK — Two Boca Ciega High School students were arrested for having a loaded semi-automatic handgun with them at a Friday night football game at Pinellas Park High School.

    Two Boca Ciega High School students were arrested for bringing a weapon on school property on Friday night at a high school football game at Pinellas Park High School.
  3. Bucs-Jaguars was NFL's lowest-rated ESPN game since 2005

    Bucs

    It is just the preseason, and it is the Jaguars, but Thursday night's Bucs-Jags preseason game earned a 1.6 rating on ESPN, which is the lowest-rated preseason game (excluding NFL Network) in 12 years, according to Sports Media Watch.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, left, talks with coach Dirk Koetter during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
  4. Crash at U.S. 19 in Pinellas Park kills one, shuts down traffic

    Accidents

    PINELLAS PARK — A man is dead after a crash between two cars at the intersection of U.S. Highway 19 and 70th Avenue N just after 7 a.m. Saturday.

    Pinellas Park police are investigating the death of a man during a crash on U.S. 19 early Saturday. (Pinellas Park police)
  5. Tropics watch: The latest on Harvey and what systems could hit Florida

    Weather

    While Eastern and Central America monitor the progress of Tropical Storm Harvey, two tropical disturbances are moving through the Atlantic.