Key points for full-day Mondays listed

The agenda for the decision on the Elementary Master Schedule has been posted for the Fairfax County School Board meeting this Thursday. Here is the proposal:

Key Points:

  • A uniform elementary day would increase instructional time for all elementary students and would allow for 20 minutes of daily recess for children.
  • FCPS currently does not meet the 990 hour requirement in state law due to our current early Monday, thus we had to make-up three instructional days beyond the advertised last day of school so that we met the 180 day requirement. Having a uniform elementary school day – Monday through Friday – will prevent us from having to make-up days if we have less than 13 inclement weather days.
  • A uniform elementary day also provides us with the opportunity to utilize an innovative school year calendar that builds in consistent holidays, such as a full two weeks at the Winter Break, and it provides for strategic planning days throughout the year.
  • Our bi-annual working conditions survey has consistently revealed that our elementary teachers need more guaranteed, self-directed time for planning. This new uniform elementary day would only be implemented with new regulations/rules that provided all elementary teachers with at least 60 minutes of self-directed time four times per week and at least 60 minutes one time per week for collaborative team planning equating to a total minimum planning time per week of 300 minutes.
  • A uniform elementary day is responsive to our parents. Our FCPS parents have consistently asked for the elimination of the early Mondays due to the inconvenience this causes for many of our working families.
  • This proposed change in our current elementary schedules on Mondays and to provide elementary teachers with dedicated planning time is estimated to cost a maximum of $7.6 million. This is difficult in these tight economic times, but we believe that this is an important investment in our students and our teachers. As such, a growing number of County Supervisors have expressed that they will provide us financial support for this important change. They have some monies available that were not budgeted due to unanticipated revenues from law enforcement activities.
  • In addition, there are no changes anticipated in Music, Art of Physical Education, nor would there be changes to Regulation 4422, which limits the number of hours that librarians, and other school-based professionals, can be dedicated to providing for planning time coverage.
  • The All County Choral Festival will continue next year and is tentatively scheduled for April 24-25, 2015. The general music teacher association and the fine arts office are discussing options should early-close Mondays be eliminated. Typically, one site rehearsal is scheduled in each of the three months prior to the concert. One option being considered is to schedule the site rehearsals on the afternoons of the February and April strategic planning days, plus one afterschool site rehearsal in March. Once the 2014-2015 school calendar is finalized, adjustments to the rehearsal schedule will be made in order to coordinate with the approved calendar.
  • There are currently nine schools on the waiting list for FLES. We will work with the schools to see if a fall implementation would be possible.

Implementation Plan:

  • In July, we will convene focus groups of teachers, including special education teachers, music and fine arts teachers, counselors, librarians and parents along with elementary principals to provide us input into the design of regulations and rules related to the changes in elementary schedules.
  • Create a cadre of elementary principal master schedule leaders by region to work with all other elementary principals over the summer on the design of master schedules for all elementary schools.
  • Once elementary principals have completed the design of their new schedule, we will ask that they convene a meeting of their parents prior to the start of school to inform parents of this new change in schedule and how it will benefit their children.

Recommendation:
That the School Board approve the Master Calendar Revision for the 2014-2015 school year, as detailed in the agenda item.

Attachments:

Proposed Master Calendar SY2014-2015.pdf (73 KB)

Recommendations to FCPS Master Schedule and Annual School Calendar.pdf (964 KB)

Master Schedule Work Session 061614 – Final SB Presentation.pdf (547 KB)

Congratulations to the staff members preparing the proposal for coming up with a good option for scheduling rehearsals for the All County Choral Festival.

Three cheers for Superintendent Karen Garza and everyone who worked so hard to bring this much-needed proposal to the school board!

Note (added June 25): The following paragraphs are now moot because the minor mistake in the first bullet point was corrected today on the BoardDocs website. I have also corrected that in the text above. Even though this is no longer in the agenda item, I am leaving the paragraphs below in this post since they explain the state regulation regarding recess.

One minor point I would like to mention. I think there is a mistake in the first bullet point, which states, “A uniform elementary day would increase instructional time for all elementary students and would allow for the state required 20 minutes of daily recess for children.”

The state regulation does require each elementary school to provide students with a daily recess; however it does not specify a minimum amount of time for recess. The Virginia Administrative Codes states, “Each elementary school shall provide students with a daily recess during the regular school year as determined appropriate by the school.” (8VAC20-131-200(C))

Further study of full-day Mondays is not needed

“As the Fairfax County school system rushes toward a decision on whether to eliminate Monday early dismissals for elementary schools next year, lack of teacher and community input has some officials calling for a slowdown,” the Fairfax Times reports. “The absence of teacher voices in particular has proved a sticking point in the debate over an issue inextricably tied to teacher planning time.”

Time out.

Trust me on this:

If Steve Greenburg, president of Fairfax County Federation of Teachers, voices support for this, that is all the proof needed that not only did teachers have a strong voice, but they drove a good bargain for themselves.

Over the years that I have known him, Steve has sometimes annoyed me with his vehement and intransigent support of the Monday early dismissal policy. It is a very significant (and surprising) development that he is willing to support this specific proposal for full-day Mondays.

Greenburg supporting full-day Mondays is like Nixon going to China.

This plan includes new protections for teacher planning time and new regulations limiting the number and length of faculty meetings. The revised school calendar that is also being proposed would add three additional days that teachers work but students stay home during the  school year.

If parents not employed by the school system had been on the committee, would they have agreed to the additional teacher work days? Who knows. At any rate, I seriously doubt that a more inclusive committee would have come up with even more benefits for the teachers. The current committee pretty much gave away the store already. If the principals were pressured to make even more concessions, perhaps they might be forced to convert their offices into teachers lounges and work out of tents in the school parking lots.

The real bias in the membership of the Elementary School Master Schedule Committee is that it was entirely composed of employees of the school system.

A future committee might be unable to reach any consensus on the major issues and just report on the pros and cons of various options, in much the same way that the Meals Tax Referendum Task Force issued a long report without taking any position on whether the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors should schedule a referendum on a meals tax.

Or, if a future committee did come up with a recommendation, the school board might decide to ignore it anyway, as it has done several times before, most recently in 1996. With its track record of ignoring previous task force reports on full-day Mondays, the school board should certainly not decide to appoint yet another task force.

The final report of the Elementary School Master Schedule Committee should be judged on its merits, not on the composition of the committee that drafted it.

Superintendent Karen Garza has done her job well in presenting the option of a greatly improved schedule to the school board. The school board should judge the recommendations on their merits and not spend time criticizing Garza for the way in which she sought advice from staff.

It is often true that taking extra time for further study is the safe and sensible choice. But not in this case. It would be a risky gamble to cling to an outdated and inadequate schedule that doesn’t provide enough time in the week to ensure compliance with the Standards of Accreditation for the school day.

Currently the elementary schools have only enough time in the week to allow 10 minutes per day for recess. Schools which allow students to have more than 10 minutes per day for recess are not meeting the requirements in the Standards of Accreditation.

Do supporters of the status quo support a limit of 10 minutes per day for recess? Or do they support not meeting the requirements for the standard school day in the Standards of Accreditation?

A 10-minute limit for recess is unreasonable. Ignoring state requirements is illegal. The substandard elementary school schedule in Fairfax should be fixed immediately. Fairfax should end the Monday early dismissal policy.

Planning time might increase substantially for elementary school teachers

Steven L. Greenburg, president of the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers, told his members that the forthcoming plan for full day Mondays would increase unencumbered planning time for elementary teachers and collaborative planning time by teams. In a recent update to members, Greenburg said that he believes that at the May 28 school board work session Superintendent Karen K. Garza will present a plan to bring in full day Mondays for all elementary schools for next year.

Greenburg noted that the unencumbered planning time would be protected by a new FCPS regulation.

Here is an excerpt from his message:

The total amount of planning per week for our elementary teachers will increase substantially (rough numbers say they would get about 45 minutes a day unencumbered and 90 minutes a week to collaborate — but I have not officially seen the plan so I would be careful on those exact numbers, yet).

As this will help us with general school calendar issues relating to ‘hours’, the change will also benefit HS / MS teachers as we can build in days for ‘snow, etc.’, and ad some teacher workdays.

We may even be able to negotiate in one less day on the employee contract (that is just a discussion now – no promises, yet).

This will benefit:

– kids (more time in school; help with achievement gap; better teacher planning = better instruction),

– parents (Monday daycare + their kids do better in school)

– teachers (unencumbered elementary planning time will finally be protected and increased time overall for planning + more workdays for HS / MS teachers … and maybe even a day off the contract)

Everyone wins. This is a 40 year old problem that is finally going to get fixed.

Listen up, my elementary colleagues: Remember, I am you!

I have 20+ yrs. as a 2nd – 3rd grade FCPS teacher (gen ed and AAP center).

One of my goals as president for the past four years was to address this issue, specifically.

We will make sure any plan to change Monday will benefit you…not hurt you.

Once the plan is released (I will get you the details asap), you will be able to see the improvements and how we will get more planning—and unencumbered time PROTECTED.

It will be a ‘no-brainer’.

The Fairfax County School Board should approve a full day of school on Mondays

This evening I urged the Fairfax County School Board to eliminate the Monday early dismissal policy in the elementary schools. Here is my testimony at the public hearing on the FY 2014 Advertised Budget:

Good evening, Ms. Evans, members of the board, and Superintendent Dale. I respectfully request that you eliminate the Monday early dismissal policy in the elementary schools because full day Mondays would benefit many children.

The FY 2014 Proposed Budget asks for $6.5 million in added time for teachers without a single minute of additional time in school for the elementary school students. The last time that some teachers had longer contract hours, the students in their schools had full day Mondays. [The 8-hour contract day for teachers, librarians, instructional aides,  and counselors  in 16 elementary schools was discontinued due to budget cuts. Now Thomas Jefferson is the only school with an 8-hour contract day for teachers.] If additional teacher contract hours are now added without any additional time for students, it will be harder than ever to try to achieve full day Mondays in the future.

There are many different ways of ending the Monday early dismissals while providing alternative planning time for the teachers. Over the past 24 years there have been several reasonable proposals to end early dismissals in all schools. One would have cost $3.6 million. It was criticized as being too cheap. Two other proposals ranged in cost from $5.6 million to $8.8 million. Some critics blasted these plans as too cheap and not good enough for Fairfax County. Many of these same critics also said the school system could not afford these allegedly inadequate proposals anyway. A narrow majority of school board members voted against these plans on the grounds that the budget was too tight. A fourth proposal would have cost between $11 and $13 million if implemented in all elementary schools. The school board shelved this task force proposal without even voting on the issue.

Now it would be unfair to provide additional contract time for teachers without providing the elementary school students with an adequate amount of time in school each week. You should not continue to dismiss these vulnerable young children two hours early every Monday. You should allow them to stay in school for a full day.

You are in charge. It is your decision.

 

Fairfax County lags behind other school districts in providing time in school for students in grades K-6.

After I criticized Jack Dale for  discussing time issues for teachers, but failing to mention the need to change the student schedule, someone signing on to The Washington Post  as  1bnthrdntht   objected to my proposals for  providing full day Mondays students while giving classroom teachers more planning time during the student week.   This person said that  I seem not to realize that there are only 24 hours in a day, and teachers have a very definite limit, both physical and mental, as to how long they can work. Also,  “Few people remember that “early closing” was made by extending the hours of the rest of the week in order that planning time could be assured.”

My reply:

It is true that when Monday early closing was started 40 years ago the Tuesday through Friday hours were extended, as 1bnthrdntht wrote. However, over the past four decades most other local school districts expanded the hours for each day of the week for the elementary school students. Fairfax County is tied with Prince George’s County for last place in the amount of time elementary school students have in school. [Read more…]

Fairfax should ask for cost estimates for more PE and recess

Last night I asked the Fairfax County school board to seek cost estimates on adding more physical edcuation and recess to the elementary school schedule. I also urged the school board not to lobby against state legislation regarding PE and recess. Here is my testimony—

….I oppose any provision in your legislative program that would authorize the school board to lobby against more stringent requirements for PE or recess.

The draft legislative program says that the school board “supports continued attention to the issue of childhood obesity in Virginia’s public schools. Any such consideration should include the collection and dissemination of best practices for both nutrition and physical activity which may help combat childhood obesity, but which allow local school divisions to retain flexibility in how they address this problem through local wellness policies.” (p. 29)

This provision should be deleted. It is perfectly fair for the Virginia General Assembly to provide some minimum standards for the benefit of young students.

Four years ago your School Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) urged you to mandate at least 90 minutes for PE and 20 minutes for recess. In November 2007, the FCPS staff responded, “Although some schools provide 90 minutes of physical education a week, regulation changes for an additional 30 minutes may require additional staffing. A change like this may also require an extended school day since there is now barely enough time for core instruction.”

The staff also said that in order to allow 20 minutes for recess the amount of time in school would need to be extended. Last winter when the General Assembly passed legislation to require least 150 minutes per week of PE in grades K-12, Superintendent Dale and school board chair Kathy Smith sent a letter to Governor Bob McDonnell asking him to veto this, which he did. The governor said that recommendations to get children more physically active should come from local school health advisory boards.

This June SHAC once again asked you to mandate 90 minutes of PE per week in elementary schools and to specify a minimum time for daily recess. The staff response did not comment on either of these two recommendations.

The agenda for the student achievement goal for the fine and practical arts includes comments by the Time for Learning Task Force. I suggest that you ask this task force and the superintendent to provide cost estimates for providing more PE and recess along with full day Mondays for students. If recess monitors were hired to supervise daily 25-minute recess periods, the classroom teachers could have more planning time during the student day. If additional PE teachers were also hired to increase the amount of PE time from 60 minutes to 90 minutes per week, the classroom teachers would gain 155 minutes of planning time during the student week in addition to the current amount of planning time they already have during the student week[1]. This would be a sufficient compensation for losing the current two-hour planning period on Monday afternoons when students are dismissed early.

I also recommend that the staff report on the student achievement goal for the fine and practical arts should include information on the amount of art instruction received by students in the elementary schools.



[1] Schools which already provide 90 minutes of PE instruction by a specialist should be given the funds to hire another specialist in music or another subject for an additional 30 minutes per week so that all classroom teachers would have an equivalent amount of planning time during the student week.

Staff analysis of Project Excel was flawed

Today’s Washington Post includes an editorial praising Superintendent Jack D. Dale for implementing the Priority Schools initiative  (Refocusing the schools debate in Fairfax ).  This program to train principals, etc. has been in effect for only a year and it is a bit premature to cite it as the highlight of the superintendent’s tenure.  The decision to implement this project was closely tied to the decision to end a policy of allowing students in 16 elementary schools to have a full day in school on Mondays.

Superintendent Dale and the FCPS staff were not very careful in their analysis of the portion of Project Excel which included the full day Monday program. I pointed this out in testimony presented at the school board budget hearing May 11, 2010.  This testimony is reprinted below. (The last column of Table 1  is cut off at the right margin when I post it here. Contact me if you would like me to send you the original Word document. Also, I would welcome any tips about how to include tables in blogs!)

Statement to Fairfax County School Board

May 11, 2010

Public Hearing on the Budget

Virginia Fitz Shea

 Superintendent Dale and members of the School Board, there are major mistakes in the staff analysis comparing Project Excel schools  to non –Excel schools. The analysis included 22 so-called Excel schools; however, there are only 16 schools which offer a full day of instruction five days a week. I have included a more detailed critique of the staff analysis in my written comments. It is clear that this analysis is so flawed that it cannot be used to justify any conclusion whatsoever.

I urge the School Board to maintain focused, full day instruction at the sixteen schools currently offering this schedule during the next school year starting in September. Although you voted to cut $1.3 million from the school operating fund for the program formerly called Project Excel, you did not vote on how to spend the stimulus funds this year.  Most of the funding for this project, now included in the Extended Learning Program, came from stimulus funds in the current school year.  Stimulus funds will also be available for the FY 2011 budget and you have not taken any action to prohibit the use of these funds to allow full day instruction to continue at the 16 schools. [Read more…]

League of Women Voters advocates 20-minute recess periods

Elizabeth Bradsher, Tessie Wilson, Jim Raney, Tina Hone, and Brad Center listen to Helen Kelly

On July 28 Helen Kelly told the Fairfax County school board that the League of Women Voters of the Fairfax Area (LWVFA) supports a 20-minute daily recess period for elementary school students. Kelly, the League’s action director, referred to the annual report that the School Health Advisory Committee presented to the school board June 8.

“In its most recent Executive Summary Report, the School Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) recommended that schools specify a minimum daily recess period and insist that children cannot miss recess for failure to complete class assignments or for disciplinary reasons,” Kelly said. She also noted that The National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) recommends that the minimum daily recess period should be at least 20 minutes in length.

“The League of Women Voters of the Fairfax Area supports both SHAC and NASPE in their recommendations,” Kelly said. “We believe that all elementary students should participate in a daily recess period lasting at least 20 minutes.”

“While it is important in reversing the epidemic of childhood obesity, exercise is not the only benefit students can gain from recess,” she said. “According to NASPE, besides offering students the opportunity to engage in physical activity, recess also allows them ‘to practice life skills such as cooperation, taking turns, following rules, sharing, communication, negotiation, problem solving and conflict resolution.’”

“We calculate that in order to have enough time to allow 20 minutes of recess per day, the overall amount of time the children spend in school would need to be increased by 50 minutes per week.” Kelly said. “Because of the many advantages it offers our students, we urge you to adopt the 20-minute minimum daily recess period for the 2012-2013 school year.”

SHAC also made recommendations regarding recess in it 2007 annual report, stating that recess should to be least 20 minutes per day with the exception of short Mondays. The staff responded in November 2007 that 10 minutes is all the time that is available for recess while still meeting the requirement for 990 hours of instruction annually. “By setting recess at 20 minutes, it would be necessary to extend the school day, or create a uniform weekly schedule,” the staff said.

Time and Learning Task Force called for additional resource teachers for schools that might choose full day Mondays

Starting in 1999, Project Excel provided full day Mondays for 16 elementary schools in Fairfax County.  However, the school board ended this program because the cost was considered too high. The last three schools which had the full day schedule will switch back to early dismissals on Mondays this September.

Clearly it is time to reconsider some earlier models for full day Mondays that would not be as expensive as Project Excel.  The Time and Learning Task Force presented a major proposal  to the  school board’s Instruction Committee  in 1996. That year I wrote a summary (shown below) of the task force recommendations. There have been some slight changes in the school hours since that time. All figures are based on the schedules in 1996.

Time and Learning Task Force Proposes Plan to Give Elementary School Students a Full Day on Mondays 

Since the early 1970’s, Fairfax County elementary school students have been dismissed 2 or 2 and 1/2 hours early on Mondays so that teachers would have a block of time for planning and meetings. There have been various proposals over the past nine years to keep the students in school on Monday afternoons while making other provisions for planning time for teachers.

“If American students are to meet world-class standards all children will need more academic time.”  –The National Education Commission  on Time and Learning, 1994.

The most recent proposal was presented to the Fairfax County School Board’s Instruction Committee on May 2, 1996, by the Time and Learning Task Force. The Task Force proposed that each elementary school should be given the option of voluntarily choosing whether to provide a full-day on Monday for students and additional resource teachers for the school. Each school would design its own collaborative decision-making process to ensure broad school and community agreement.

According to the Task Force, “Some schools may want to follow the process used by high schools to decide on block scheduling in which: a) a committee investigates models; b) the committee makes recommendations to parents and faculty; c) parents vote; and d) faculty votes.”

A school which decided to provide the additional time for the students would then decide which types of resource teachers to hire. With a uniform 6.5-hour day Monday through Friday, students would gain a total of 2.5 weeks of additional instructional time per year.

Elementary School Weekly Schedules

Comparison of current schedules to proposed changes recommended by the Time and Learning Task Force

Student activities  Grades 1 – 6

Current time

Proposed total time

Proposed change

Subjects taught by classroom teacher 25 hours/week 25 hours/week none
Instruction by PE and music teachers

2. 5 hours/week

2 hours/week

-0.5 hour/week

Instruction by an art teacher

.5 hour/week[1]

1 hour/week

+.5 hour/week

Additional resource teachers identified by school (e.g., reading, math, computer, science, foreign language, health, music, PE.)

none

2 hours/week

+2 hours/week

Subtotal of instructional time 28 hours/week 30 hours/week +2 hours/week
Lunch 2.5 hours/week 2.5 hours/week none
TOTAL student time in school 30.5 hours/week 32.5 hours/week +2 hours/week

 The total time mandated for music, art, and PE instruction each week by specialists is the same under the proposal as it is under the current schedule: 3 hours.

  • Music—minimum of two 30-minute sessions each week, for a total of 60 minutes.
  • PE—minimum of two 30-minute sessions each week, for a total of 60 minutes.
  • Art—minimum of one 60-minute session each week. This is an objective the School Board has been working towards even without any increase in time for students.

Under the Task Force proposal, the additional time for instruction by specialists to be chosen by each school is 2 hours. The school could choose resource teachers for reading, math, science, a foreign language, computers, health, or other subjects. The school would have the option of choosing to have additional instruction above the mandated amounts for music, PE, or art.

The Task Force said that schools should choose measures to reduce fragmentation in the student schedule. For example, language arts instruction by the special education teacher could be scheduled during the time the classroom teacher is covering this subject.

Kindergarten student activities

Current time

Proposed total time

Proposed change

Subjects taught by classroom teacher and/or aide 15.00 hours/week 13.75 hours/week -1.25 hours/week
Instruction by PE and music teachers none 1 hour/week +1 hour/week
Instruction by an art teacher  0.25 hours/week)  0.5 hours/week  +0.25 hours/week
Instruction by other resource teachers none 1 hour/week +1 hour/week
TOTAL instructional time 15.25 hours/week 16.25 hours/week +1 hour/week

Under the Task Force proposal, kindergarten teachers and specialists would be guaranteed five hours of weekly planning time.

Teacher planning time

Grades 1 – 6

Current

Proposed total

Proposed change

 

Planning time during student day 2.5 hours/week 5 hours/week +2.5 hours/week
     music and PE teachers

2.5 hours/week

2 hours/week

-0.5 hour/week

     art teachers

none[2]

1 hour/week

+1 hour/week

     additional resource teachers

none

2 hours/week

+ 2 hours/week

Planning time before and after the student day (including Monday afternoon) 7 hours/week 5 hours/week -2 hours/week
TOTAL planning time 9.5 hours/week 10 hours/week

+0.5 hour/week

Under the Time and Learning Task Force proposal, each participating school must provide a minimum of five hours of planning time per week within the student day for every full-time teacher, with a minimum of two of the five hours provided for grade-level or team planning.

Schools would need to develop alternatives for a school-based staff development delivery system other than designated Mondays.

The total yearly amount of teacher planning time under the Task Force proposal would increase to a total of 180 hours. Even if every Monday afternoon under the current schedule were used for planning, the total yearly planning time would be 162 hours. However, at least seven Mondays are holidays or workdays, so a total of 14 hours of planning time is lost. Also, at least five Mondays are used for a variety of reasons (area meetings, central meetings, non-school-based in-service activities, and subject area meetings). Therefore, the total planning time minus holidays and other activities is currently 138 hours per year.

Cost

The Task Force recommends that the decision whether to implement a 6.5 hour uniform elementary school day be voluntary on the part of the individual schools, so it is not yet known how many schools will demonstrate an interest in this change. Therefore, costs can only be estimated at this time.

If all 134 elementary schools chose to adopt the 6.5 hour uniform day, total implementation costs could be in the range of $11,000,000 to $13,000,000 per year.

After School Programs

The Task Force recommends support of the extended day program implemented in February 1996 by the Hunters Woods Arts and Science Magnet School. There are four components: academic, technology, recreation, and community service.

Hours are from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Monday. A site director, one teacher, and a teacher’s assistant are needed. Approximately 50 tuition-paying students are needed to sustain this program. It is projected that about 10 additional students may be accommodated with tuition waivers for every 50 students.

We thank Task Force member Ed Grady and Chairman Maryanne Roesch for providing information for the tables in this article.


[1] The art teacher visits each class approximately every other week for one hour under the current schedule.

[2] The current model for art instruction is that the classroom teacher stays in the class with the art teacher. (However, in some schools, the art specialist time is used as planning time for the classroom teacher.)

Affordable option for full day Mondays

It’s time for the Fairfax County school board to provide full day Mondays for all elementary school students. If the classroom teachers lost the two-hour block of planning time what would be a way of providing alternative blocks of planning time? Perhaps additional instructional assistants could be hired as recess monitors. If students had 25 minutes of recess each day, the classroom teachers could use that time as planning time. Classroom teachers would gain a total of 125 minutes of planning time in a five-day week, which could be one substitute for the 120 minutes on Monday afternoons.

The standard teacher contract could be made more flexible. The contract time per week could be kept at 37.5 hours. The normal contract workday could be reduced from 7 1/2 hours to 7 1/4 hours. The remaining 75 minutes could be used for meetings or other activities as determined by the principal and faculty of each school.