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Kingman Daily Miner | Kingman, Arizona

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12/10/2013 6:00:00 AM
KUSD
Kingman school district looks at year-round classes
Miner Photo
Miner Photo
Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - Those long lazy days of summer break may be a little shorter next year for Kingman Unified School District students. The KUSD Governing Board will discuss the idea of changing the school year to a 45 days on, 10 days off year-round schedule for the 2014, 2015 and 2016 school years at its 5:30 p.m. meeting today at the district office, 3033 MacDonald Ave.

Superintendent Roger Jacks said if the board approves the schedule, the school year will remain 180 days, but the district will have a two-week break in the spring and fall and a six-week summer break. Currently there's a one-week break in the spring and a nine-week break in the summer.

During those two-week breaks in the spring and fall, four days will be reserved for students who want or need extra tutoring, Jacks said. One possible plan is to pay teachers by the hour to tutor students during those days.

Bullhead City started a 45/10 school year in July and has a similar plan, Jacks said.

"They use about 40 to 50 percent of their staff during those intercession periods," he said.

The school board has discussed changing the school year several times in the past.

Earlier this year, the district discussed increasing the amount of time students in White Cliffs Middle School spend on academics during the day to 63 minutes and reduce the time spent on elective courses to 43 minutes in order to raise the school's D performance rating on the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards.

In 2009, the school board considered moving to a four-day week to help save money during the downturn in the economy.

The board nixed the idea because of a lack of support from the community. One major concern from parents at the time was finding and paying for childcare for students on that extra day off.

The school board will also set a date in January to take a second look at its student disciplinary policy, specifically students who get expelled from school.

Jacks said the district might add some flexibility to the punishments the board can give to students who are caught using or distributing drugs or alcohol on school property. According to the 2012-2013 parents handbook, students can be suspended or expelled for drug or alcohol use.

The board will also:

• Hear a report from the new Palo Christi exploratory committee.

• Hear a report on possible changes to the district's student dress code.

• Move into an executive session to discuss Jack's annual job performance review.

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Related Stories:
• School year calendar subject of Kingman meeting
• Parents mixed on year-round Kingman school calendar
• School district seeks input on year-round schedule


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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, December 15, 2013
Article comment by: Parents Are the Key

Desert Angel, you said it all. Amazing that so many parents object to anything the schools or teachers try to do to improve the education of our youth. Yet, what percent show up to help in the schools? What percent go over their child's homework or even monitor if it is competed? Yes, we know you work. We know you're tired. Yet, we also know you chose to have children and have the responsibility to them and our community

I would hope the board will examine studies that indicate shorter breaks improve education. I know the board is open to all comments from the community and only hope they will not be intimidated by a few loud mouths, either way when the issue is before them. .


Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2013
Article comment by: Tom Tatalovich

[Comment exceeded word limit.]

Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2013
Article comment by: @Involved Parent

It's not as simple as it sounds. Fresh ideas are great if they have been proven to work in economically challenged areas like ours. Change for change sake, however, on top of the multitude of changes staff and students are still grappling with this school year, are not. And to think parents will only schedule vacations during 10 day calendar breaks and/or have students complete projects during those breaks is a bit naive. No matter what the district schedule is, parents take students out of school whenever they like and often extend scheduled school breaks by taking students out of school a few days beforehand and returning them a few days after school is back in session. Also, the burden would most likely be greater (not less) on teachers and staff. A school "break" doesn't mean the same thing to district employees as it does to students and their families. Teachers and staff are usually in the building long after students go home on school days and still there during summer breaks.

Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2013
Article comment by: Parents Need To Speak Up

KUSD parents, please make your opinions known before it's too late. A change to year round school is being pushed through quickly by the Board. It was recently sprung on teachers and staff who were told they had to "vote" on their preference across various options with no questions answered about the potential impact on their incomes and schedules. Ballots were sent home to parents but results of that vote have not been widely publicized. There will be town hall meetings about this....all are scheduled to take place when many families are leaving town for the holidays or just returning from winter break. Much like the ongoing debate about moving to full school uniforms, the Board continues to discuss changes that impact our children in the face of widespread internal and public opposition with no hard evidence about the potential benefits. We live in one of the top 5 poorest areas in the nation and daycare outside of school hours simply isn't an option for many. We need to support our working poor parents in their efforts to support their children - not make it more difficult. Show me the proven benefit to communities like ours and I'll get behind it 100%.

Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Article comment by: Involved Parent

I am pleased the school district is not remaining stagnant on the traditional calendar. It is importatant to try new avenues and bring forth fresh ideas for improvement. If we keep doing what we've always done then we will reap the same results. 180 days of school is 180 days of school - no matther what calendar you choose. Daycare, whether it's in the summer or mid year is still daycare. I'm sure the Boys & Girls Club or the City would be happy to help on those 4 weeks as they do in the summer. I also believe the free lunches would be extended through the breaks just as they do in the summer. The school district would simply move 4 weeks out of the summer and create 2 mid-year breaks at 2 weeks each. Seems pretty simple. This would give athletics, drama and other clubs time to hold fundraisers and travel without the heavy burden of the homework and give them the time to work on large projects. It is simply 2 seperate breaks to help break up the semesters and the demand it puts on students, and staff. Which may just create improvement and give those kids who are struggling some time to catch up. It also allows families to plan mid-year vacations. The benefits seem to outweigh the common gripe that goes along with any type of changes to a routine everyone is used to.

Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Article comment by: HELLO WAKE UP

How about we stop being so selfish and RUDE, obviously the way we have the school schedule now is not working, how about we give it a try? Perhaps our children will end up with a better opportunity to learn! Is that not why we send them to school, to learn? Me personally I would be open to whatever it takes to allow the children to excel academically, perhaps if we had better performance in our schools we could have stronger bargaining tools to get people to relocate to the area...

Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Article comment by: Desert Angel

Why does everyone blame everything on the school system? What are the parents doing to take care of their own children?

Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Article comment by: Debbie Thomas

Boys & Girls Club of Kingman will adjust to the KUSD School Schedule change. Our membership is $15 annually and our after school program is $85 annually. We will create a program for the 2 week breaks for an additional fee. We are currently working out the details and will have more information available if KUSD changes to 45/10 school year. Please contact the Club at 928-718-0033 or email us at info@bgckingman.org for more details.

Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Article comment by: Daisy Duke

I do not agree to this policy. I realize school is not daycare, but this is going to be hard on those parents that have a hard enough time figuring out how to work around holiday breaks. I feel for those that will have to take time off that cannot afford to every 45 days if this passes. Kingman is not a rich community, I do not even consider the majority of Kingman to even be middle class. It is a community with many places to make minimum wage. This also hurts children whose families are divided and they spend their summer breaks with a parent that is long distance. Going to spend time every 45 days is also not feasible. All 4 of my children are upset about this policy. Even more so than the school uniform idea. Which I also do not think will help with bullying. Kids are mean they will find another reason to bully other than clothing. Plain and simple.

Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Article comment by: Lumpy Rutherford

Year round calendar is great for academics. The traditional calendar is NOT about academics. It is about everything else, but school achievement. Go to a year around calendar. I taught school in a British school system. Year started in the second week of January, had breaks every 10 weeks, with a big break second week of December to second week of January. It made so much sense, the old agricultural cycle based traditional schedule America schools are on is mindless now.

Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Article comment by: Carol Ann Rivera-Miller

OK. Here we go again, making decisions to accomodate adminstrative staff again! WHAT ABOUT THE STUDENTS? How about establishing extra time for the Teachers to be tutored. How about programs that will assist the teaching staff out here how to cope with the lifestyle & families who live in an area that does not even compare to other districts. How about hiring staff who intend to STAY and get involved with the community. Parents have made adjustments just to support their children. It is still extremely difficult to trust the school district to SAFELY provide them with the kind of education that is supposed be given. What happened to concentrating on the basics of education with some fun too?
Students are made to feel like they failed. Students have nothing to look forward to in their daily schedule anymore! Sports, drama, music, etc., are so limited. Yet, most of our true leaders now have had the opportunity to enjoy the ARTS too! If the majority of time spent in the classrooms these days were used for education, instead of videos & excuses, maybe the kids would actually be interested in learning again. Check credentials a little more to make sure TEACHING IS SOMETHING THEY LOVE TO DO! NOT HAVE TO DO!


Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Article comment by: High School Parent

When were the parents going to find out about this from the school? The parents should have a say in how THEIR children's schedule should be changed. What happens in the middle of summer, when the kids are required to do physical education? It's way too hot for them to be outside participating in PE activities. Plus the fact that now they want all these kids to be home for 2 weeks at a time. The kids in this town get into enough trouble, because there is nothing for them to do around here. If I wanted my child in year round school, I'd move back to California.

Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Article comment by: School Bus Driver

I know for a FACT that all the buses DO NOT have Air Conditioning. Several children were taken to the hospital for heat issues during the hot season in the regular school year. What do you think is going to happen during summer months when those buses exceed over 100, 120 degrees outside, not to mention what the engine puts out inside the bus? Are you going to make sure that every school bus has AC before you change the school year to year round? Or are you going to just pass out water like you did for a few special needs routes???

Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Article comment by: Slim Whitman

You can change everything from the dress code to the schedule, but until you bring regular old Sears and Roebuck discipline back to the schools you're wasting your time.
Can't the district find one administrator per school that will force the bad apple students and their largely unemployed parents to toe the line?

Appeasement never works.


Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Article comment by: Concerned Citizen

Studies, particularly one done by Duke University, indicate the benefit of year round schedule on students' ability to retain material. I'm pretty sure that there won't be issues with curriculum as KUSD is using a program from the Vail school district that incorporates a year round schedule to the support academics and other extra-curriculars. That program, incorporated with a year round schedule has seen really positive results. As to the issue of childcare I see how it can be a concern but I'm sure that after this has passed, the community and its services will adapt to the needs of this schedule.

Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Article comment by: Paul J.

I am opposed to year round school. How will they pay for all of this tutoring? Why don't they do the tutoring in the summer?

Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Article comment by: Kingman Resident

Why is the school board agenda not posted currently on your website. If it wasn't for the newspaper telling us what is happening in the district the people wouldn't know? I for one read the KUSD website!!

Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Article comment by: Not a fan of KUSD Board Members

These board members are such a joke.. They do not care about our childrens education, nor do they care about the community. They mocked a 13 year old for making a mistake, laughed at him, belittled him and made him feel like he didn't deserve to be around his peers. And thanks to their decision, they made that possible. At 13 I made a lot of mistakes, but I was told, at that age it was a fine time to make them because I should also learn from them. I did. Our school system quits on our children on one try. What is that teaching them? Besides what makes them qualified to RUIN their lives? Hmm. What a joke I say!!

Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Article comment by: Relax MR.C.

"Flexibility" That portion caught my attention RIGHT NOW!! Yep, today we add Flexibility to replace what? Zero tolerance.

Who's running these institutions??


Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Article comment by: Kingman Parent

Sure - make it even harder for a parent with a full-time job to manage schedules. Let's give the kids random pockets of time of and you get to suffer through finding quality daycare for short breaks.

What kind of care provider can take on work for 10 days and be off every 45 days?!??! They'll either be outrageously expensive or outrageously incompetent.

Well, the KUSD School Board does remain consistent in wanting to kill the family structure. Instead of worrying about how to pay their teachers and staff a livable wage - they'll concentrate on uniforms and calendars. Nice focus Board! (Read: Sarcasm)


Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Article comment by: A Parent

When they done the trial run on year round school before it would have been great. But they did not have all the schools on it. So made it difficult if you had students in different schools. I believe only two were year round.
I hope they keep this in mind, keep all the schools on the same schedule. whether it be year round or not. The year round is great, my daughter really enjoyed it.


Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Article comment by: parent of child

well guess schools will really take over the raising of our kids as parents wont have any time with their own kids any more

Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Article comment by: Angela Cole

@ Rick

It is funny that I always see you making negative comments on every Miner article. No wonder you lost your election! Why don't you take all that energy and do something positive with it!


Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Article comment by: Nay Mama

Year Round School Schedule is nothing new for Kingman. It was tried and dumped either by public ridicule or it was nixed by the Governing Board.
At that time one of my sons was a 6th grader at Cerbat Elementary School, and I loved the scheduling and the way if your child started to fall behind, the student could catch up during the 15 days off.


Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Harris

Yes to the 45 day year round plan. Long overdue in today's very competitive world. The children retain more are more rested after these short breaks and the district can save money.

Remember why we have this 9 month schedule. When the majority of our citizens lived on the farm, the school schedule allowed the children to help on the farms. We are no longer a agrarian society and today's schools must look at how to best serve the students needs.



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