Baraboo schoolchildren will be expected to arrive in class 15 minutes earlier this year.

As part of the change, the Baraboo School District also has set aside two hours each week for teachers to spend developing their own skills and evaluating what their students need to advance academically.

Elementary school children should arrive by 7:55 a.m. On regular days, they will be released at 3 p.m.

High school and middle school students will start their day at 7:45 a.m. and finish at 3:15 p.m.

However, students will be released two hours early each Wednesday to give teachers time for collaborative work, Baraboo School District Administrator Crystal Ritzenthaler said Monday in an email reminder.

On Wednesdays, elementary students end their day at 1 p.m., and high school students will finish at 1:15 p.m.

The earlier start to the school day will ensure that students receive the number of hours of instructional time required by the Wisconsin Department of Instruction, Ritzenthaler said.

The Wednesday "collaboration and training" time is necessary in part because more than 70 new teachers have joined the district over the last two years, due to retirements and resignations of veteran staff members, Ritzenthaler said.

In addition to having experienced teachers work to mentor new arrivals, educators also will evaluate student progress and develop steps to help students who might be lagging behind.

During a Baraboo School Board meeting last week, Director of Curriculum and Instruction Lori Mueller presented a schedule of "benchmark" tests for 2011-2012 that district officials will use to track student progress and identify those in need of extra attention.

"We can make sure they are making gains each school year," she said. "It also allows us to look at curricular areas to see if there are any gaps in the curriculum."

Last week, Ritzenthaler said the process of working to help students advance must be done on an individual basis.

Send e-mail to bbridgeford@capitalnewspapers.com.

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(18) comments

classic
classic

Another idiot trying to follow Madison. Do worry how this will affect parents who have real jobs and will have to change there work schedules to pick up their young kids and I am sure most business will not care one bit that employees are taking off early. For someone who is suppose to be educated they sure don't have the brains to think something through.

Twitter1
Twitter1

I wonder if they will be using the 2 hour time to plan for the next protest march to Madison.

justme
justme

Stupid Idea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Just Stupid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Stupid ,Stupid Stupid!!!!!!!!!!

Resident
Resident

I will find it easier to get to work on time in the mornings now

krl53913
krl53913

I like how they snuck this in without a vote from parents. I know I didn't know anything about this until after the fact!

Boo Rocks
Boo Rocks

This whole 15 minutes EARLIER really get under my skin. As a rural parent of three children, this 15 minutes earlier is so unfair to not just our, but other rural children. Last year one of our children was getting on the bus at 6:45 am - the other at 7:20 am.

Forget about the teachers and what they want or how this will affect parents who have jobs...as parents, we signed up for this when we had kids....pick them up, drop them off, it is what it is.

The REAL issue here is our children....how are they going to get the education they are in need of when they are sooooo tired because they are tired. We have one in high school who is in sports.....sometimes those sports don't get over with until late (which is another issue) and by the time one gets home to settle down, its already past 11 pm, then they are expected to get up earlier for school.

We went to school from 8 am to 3:30 pm - wasn't that an option?

TTcheese
TTcheese

Bow! and be good subjects of the Queen Bee! How dare you question her wisdom!

Parent4thekids
Parent4thekids

I am a concerned parent who doesn't believe this change was well thought through. This change primarily benefits the teachers and leaves children and parents in a difficult position. For the parent who can't take off to pick up their children, we are subjecting them to be terminated based on poor attendance. In the current economy, working parents can afford to put their jobs in jeopardy. Yes Kidstop is available, but not every parent can afford to take their children there - and it is only for the elementary children. What about the middle school aged group? Also what about children who play sports? Where are they going to go for 2 1/2 hours prior to practice starting at 3:30?? Especially those that live in rural areas, like North Freedom? I have supported the teachers through the last few months, but I am very concerned at this change and it does not have my support. I wish that the parents who are affected by this would have been able to participate in the decision.

Parent4thekids
Parent4thekids

the last post should have read - Working parents CANNOT afford....

pickyreader
pickyreader

Hey....Remember whenever the school or the employees of the school make a decision, especially a controversial one, they ALWAYS state "its for the children". I often times don't agree, and I believe it is for the good of the staff. MAYBE THESE DECISIONS SHOULD BE REMEMBERED WHEN REFERENDUM TIME COMES AROUND PEOPLE!!!! We vote to increase their spending but not on issues like this. Really, when are we going to learn???

shadeojade
shadeojade

When the idea of starting school earlier was first introduced, Ms. Ritzenthaler had said it was because so many parents had requested it. Now it a completely different story. How typical that we cannot ever get the truth from the administrator.

Hometowngirl
Hometowngirl

I understand the start time changing but the wednesday thing.... ummmmm really? how do WORKING families account for that?

haright
haright

So, they have inexperienced teachers which means everyone has to suffer? Whatever happened to working late, like everyone else? Yeah, I know, teachers work a ton of hours...cue teacher who points this out. They should have let the parents weigh in on this one. Oh wait, they wanted to actually be able to DO it.

Myturn2talk
Myturn2talk

FYI... Teacher's should not be blamed for these early release times. Since all of the changes that took place in response to Gov. Walker's proposals, teachers now have very little say in decisions like this anymore. They were given the schedule and had no part in the decision making process for these early release times.

ImagineThat
ImagineThat

Please note that Baraboo teachers did not request that school be released early every Wednesday. As valuable as collaboration time is, there are other ways that this can be accomplished. It is important to remember that in most decisions that are made by the school board or administration, teachers have very little say. Often times decisions are made and then they hide behind their unpopular decisions by saying "this is what the teachers wanted." Simply not true.

Resident
Resident

To Boo Rocks -- I grew up in a more rural area than this. I was the first one on the bus in the mornings and the last at night. I was at the end of the long driveway waiting for the bus before 6:30 every weekday. Give me a break.

Also is kids are tired from (sports) then take them out. It is your choice and no one elses. I have a child in sports and I agree there are looong nights with the homework after practice, but this is by choice.

Resident
Resident

[quote]Hometowngirl said: "I understand the start time changing but the wednesday thing.... ummmmm really? how do WORKING families account for that? "[/quote]


Ya, this one is just crazy!!

Thinkforonce
Thinkforonce

For two parents working, it can be difficult. For single parents, it can be very difficult. Having children in a big responsibility. If the 15 minutes is added at the end of the school day, how many would still complain?

I am all for a longer school day, so working parents can have their first-class, public daycare on a more convenient schedule. That is reasonable.

How many right-wingers would compain and blame that on the greedy, overpaid teachers?

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