“We found an opportunity to be able to train our staff in a way that will help teaching and learning, and provide a cohesiveness at the school level,” Superintendent Michael Faulk
The Central school system has rewritten its school calendar so that 300 of the district’s employees, including all of its teachers, paraprofessionals and administrators, can participate in three consecutive days of online training in February.
The Central School Board agreed unanimously Monday to the changes to the 2013-14 school year calendar.
Changes to school calendars are rare once a school year is underway, except due to bad weather and emergencies.
“We found an opportunity to be able to train our staff in a way that will help teaching and learning, and provide a cohesiveness at the school level,” said Superintendent Michael Faulk, who said he became aware of the training option only recently.
Solution Tree, of in Bloomington, Ind., is providing the training online Feb. 26, 27 and 28, and two of those days were originally planned to be regular school days.
The faculties of Central’s five schools all will gather at the joint campus of Central Intermediate and Middle schools, newly constructed a year ago.
Faulk said students won’t come to school those days.
The School Board is making up the lost days in the following way:
- April 16 and April 17 will be regular school days, shortening Easter Break by two days for students, and one day for teachers.
- Seniors’ last day will be May 8, not May 9.
- The last day for the rest of the students will be moved to May 22 from May 23. Consequently, exams will be given May 21, making it an early release day.
Faulk said Solution Tree is providing online and interactive training in scheduling, team building, data analysis and planning, among other things. He said he likes that everyone is getting the same training at once.
He said the overall cost is likely to be about $50,000, but he has yet to finalize a contract with Solution Tree.
That price will allow all Central faculty to tap into education experts, including Richard and Rebecca Dufour, and Robert Eaker, for much less than if the school district had tried to send all teachers to a conference or even to fly these experts to Central, he said.
“This type of training eliminates the cost of traveling, lodging and expenses related to stipends for summer trainings,” Faulk said in a letter to the board.