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1/16/2014 6:00:00 AM
Kingman school schedule change delayed for a year
Bruce Ricca
Bruce Ricca
Roger Jacks
Roger Jacks
Kim Steele
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - A majority of the Kingman Unified School District Governing Board sided Tuesday with teachers and parents wanting more time before the district switched from a traditional school calendar to a 45-10 schedule.

On the third try, the board reached enough agreement to approve a traditional schedule for next year and a 45-10 schedule for the second and third year. Board members Laurie Voss Barthlow made the motion and Debbie Francis seconded it, and with support from Charles Lucero, it passed 3-2.

Board members Bruce Ricca and Jeri Brock voted against the motion, noting they preferred the 45-10 calendar for all three years.

"This calendar change came up very fast, and what we've decided here will give teachers and parents time to prepare for it," said Francis. "Parents need to fully understand the new calendar, even though many of them didn't show up at the town hall meetings we offered. I fully support the 45-10 calendar and think it will be wonderful when we finally get it up and running in the district."

On the first vote, Ricca made a motion in favor of immediately adopting the proposed 45-10 calendar, which was seconded by Brock. But Lucero, Barthlow and Francis voted against the motion, saying they didn't feel comfortable with how fast the change was being made.

"I'm in favor of the 45-10 calendar and I want to do it now," said Ricca.

"We have staff and teachers in favor of it, and we held town hall meeting and there wasn't a good showing by parents. The district has been sliding and our academics are failing. We need to find a way to step it up and raise the bar. And I can't say that all five of us should go against all the staff with experience who want it."

The second vote took place over a motion made by Lucero and seconded by Barthlow that would approve the traditional school calendar for one year and allow for another vote at a later date to see which calendar worked best. Board members voted it down after being asked by the district's calendar committee to consider a three-year calendar for consistency.

Under the 45-10 schedule, which would last 180 days, students would have a two-week break in the spring and the fall, a regular winter break and a six-week break in the summer.

Extra tutoring time, called intersessions, would be available for students needing help. Currently, students also attend school for 180 days, but have one week off in the spring and the fall, two weeks off in the winter and nine weeks off during the summer.

The district's calendar committee began looking into the 45-10 calendar last year and presented its findings during three town hall meetings in December and January. District surveys completed by teachers and parents showed that parents preferred the traditional school calendar over the proposed 45-10 calendar by 1,099 to 363.

But teachers favored the 45-10 calendar over the traditional calendar by 251 to 133.

At last week's board workshop, Barthlow said she had received emails from teachers concerned that changes were occurring too soon and too fast. Last year, the district implemented several new programs in an effort to raise its A-F letter grades.

For the second year, the district received a C in the annual rating, which is tied to the 2012-2013 Arizona Instrument for Measuring Standards results.

Four schools decreased one or more letter grades, two increased and four scored the same as last year. Additional points are awarded for significant reductions in dropout rates and high-achieving English language learners.

The district added Beyond Textbooks, a math curriculum that provides teaching standards and a timeline for them. It also began Re-teach and Enrich, a program that re-teaches concepts to students who have difficulty understanding them while their classmates take time to explore their uses in life.

And every school now participates in Daily Math Skills, a 30-minute effort that focuses on basic math skills.

Also, the district began Cambridge Academy, the academic program students must apply for that prepares them for college and a career by increasing rigor and focusing on in-depth learning.

"We have had a lot of changes over the past year, and I know our new programs will be successful," said Lucero. "But my reason for not voting for the 45-10 calendar for next year is that we haven't even had time to evaluate the new programs we have now."

Barthlow agreed.

Supervisor Roger Jacks said the calendar committee conducted a lot of research and that district staff supported the change. He said the district tried a 45-15 three-year school calendar at Cerbat and Palo Christi elementary schools about 10 years ago and it was successful.

The experiment has not been tried since then, he added.

"This has been a tough decision for the board and we respect all the comments that have been made so far," said Jacks. "Many of the parents surveyed were in favor of a traditional calendar, while the majority of the teachers wanted the 45-10 calendar. There were concerns that we need to think this through and have a better plan.

"But we've done a lot of research, and the bottom line to success is how well the proposed calendar is administered. I support the majority of staff who believe this is really something that will work for KUSD."

When the final vote was tallied, Jacks said the district would wholeheartedly support the decision and make it successful.

Barthlow said she believes the board's concession of a split three-year calendar is important to teachers and parents, showing them the board's commitment to listening to everyone while following its members' beliefs.

"I'm sympathetic to the concerns from staff about how rushed they feel," said Barthlow. "But I'm also in favor of the 45-10 calendar.

"This gives everyone an extra year with the traditional schedule and also makes it clear that we want to lock in the 45-10 calendar for the two years after that."

ICT - Arizona Sommers Cooling and Heating
Related Stories:
• Questions about the new Kingman school schedule?
• New Kingman school calendar may be one change too many for district
• Parents mixed on year-round Kingman school calendar

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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, January 25, 2014
Article comment by: KUSD Teacher

Twenty dollars an hour sounds even better. Let’s offer that to cardiologists. I’m sure we’ll be inundated with the best cardiologists in the world for that generous offer. Then, we can offer twenty-five whole dollars an hour for brain surgeons to move here. All we’ll have to do is tell them about our great, low cost of living, and I’m sure they’ll be lining up for positions in Kingman. After all, these wages sound great to many people, and Kingman has such a low cost of living that it’s totally justified, right?

If you pay a doctor half of what he/she could earn elsewhere, how many doctors will work in Kingman? What will the quality of care be? Should we justify a low wage for a doctor in Kingman based on the fact that many of us would love to have that income? The fact is simple. If you can’t offer a competitive wage, you won’t attract a high-quality doctor. The same is true for teachers and many other skilled professions that require training or education. You get what you pay for. The love of teaching doesn’t pay bills. KUSD teachers should be able love teaching and pay bills at the same time.

Posted: Saturday, January 25, 2014
Article comment by: someone in arizona

I am sure there are a lote of people that would love to make 16.50 an hr but how many of them are spending upwards of 40 thousand and at least 4 years of hard work to do it? Not many huh? I make almost 2 times that kicking rocks with 0 college. What makes people think that teachers are supposed to volunteer for the "love of teaching". You could always get off your butt and come show us how right? You may teach because you love it but love doesn't pay the bills or student loans. And get real about the hours teachers you know they attend unpaid training on multipal Saturdays throughout the year? How about we look at our leadership from jacks down and the number of administrative staff. Maybe you should look a little deeper along with th majorityof kusd "customers"!

Posted: Saturday, January 25, 2014
Article comment by: KUSD Teacher

“Which works out to approx $16.60 an hour. . ."

The average 4-year degree currently costs sixty thousand dollars, a debt that is typically a student loan. Do you know how much money this is per month? It's a house payment. In addition, little to no income can be accrued during these four years of college, and additional college credit is necessary each six years in order to maintain certification. Each college class costs approximately one thousand dollars after all expenses, and teachers must give up evenings or break time to take these classes. Further, did you know that teachers spend money on their classes? Do the math, and you’ll find that teachers make far less than you think. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

“ much exactly should they be paid?”

The answer is simple, the amount necessary to be competitive. In today’s market, we’re not competitive. Teachers who are applying to KUSD don’t want to hear about our cost of living. Telling them that our cost of living is low sounds like an excuse for a pathetic salary. Our current salary, regardless of how much it is per hour, is not competitive. If you want highly qualified people, you have to offer a competitive wage.

Posted: Thursday, January 23, 2014
Article comment by: V Stokes

"The average salary for teachers in Kingman is $34,500."

Which works out to approx $16.60 an hour based on 40 hrs per week/52 wks a year, (not that those are accurate for a teachers real schedule). And that's the average. How much do those that stay for a few years make? And since the cost of living is so much less than areas like Phoenix or Tucson...whats the real difference. How many people would LOVE to be making that kind of money?

I love teachers...and those I've known didn't get in to it for the money...but for the love of the job. much exactly should they be paid?

Posted: Thursday, January 23, 2014
Article comment by: Former Resident

The low cost of living equates to a lack of industry or future in Kingman. This city really holds onto its nostalgia and its standing as a pit stop for those traveling from and to Las Vegas. If Kingman wants to retain their quality teachers especially those that are young, then they need to work towards building their community's future. Less fast food restaurants and more places like Siren's, Black Bridge Brewery, The Cellar Door, Mattina's, Lombardos, and El Palacios. Give the young generation more things to do in Kingman and you'll ensure a positive outcome that will also impact the students of KUSD. I'm sure you will also see a decrease in crime rates among teenagers. Kingman seems afraid or unwilling to invest in its future.

Posted: Thursday, January 23, 2014
Article comment by: KUSD Teacher

There are only nine states that have lower teacher pay when the cost of living IS taken into account. Kingman is one of the lowest paying districts in the forty-first worst state for teachers. The average salary for teachers in Arizona is $47,500. The average salary for teachers in Kingman is $34,500. That puts KUSD's teacher salaries among the lowest in the nation even after looking at the cost of living. How do you attract good teachers here when they can earn so much more in other areas? How can you keep good teachers when they can't pay for further education and student loans? There is a reason that so many of Kingman's teachers have to get public assistance just to live here. Our teachers deserve better. Our students deserve better.

How do you tell teachers to come here so they can reach a smaller audience when our class sizes in Kingman are so large?

Are teachers too impersonal now? Perhaps. When you have so many kids in your classes and no time to communicate with parents, it makes it difficult to be personal.

Posted: Thursday, January 23, 2014
Article comment by: Carol Ann Rivera=Miller

More pay? I really think that the emphasis should be on the fact that the Cost of Living is not as high as other places in the country! Yes, it is true that we need to attract more dedicated teachers. Instead of dwelling on the fact that the pay is lower than the norm, encourage those who love to teach that this is their opportunity to reach a smaller amount of students. Getting closer to the parents encourages the students to perform to an expected level. Those teachers who enjoy teaching survival tactics will survive this challenge. Those who did not use their present school as a stepping stone to another institution, take steps to create new methods that reach the learning abilities of students. To eliminate the stress of the travel distance required just to attend school out here, it seems to have worked all these years to take those Late Start Wednesdays & off Fridays. Appreciate the offers from retired Instructors who do have solutions. There are many who are concerned about whether the Country's school system has become too impersonal. Keep the Robots in the tech classes...not in the teaching positions. Have the students enjoy getting up & look forward to what they will learn. Concentrate on their desire to express themselves & share ideas for their future!

Posted: Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

"The fact is the Common Core program is an Indoctrination program pushed by the Fed. Administration!!!"

Still wrong and will be every time you post it.

Posted: Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Article comment by: KUSD Teacher

The evaluation process isn’t the point. The point is that the salary in Kingman is so low that many great teachers don’t want to move here, and many simply leave. The evaluation process doesn’t assist in drawing highly qualified teachers, and it does little to retain them here. A livable wage brings and keeps highly qualified teachers, not an evaluation process. The best you might claim is that the evaluation process helps teachers improve. It’s not the solution. The solution is a livable wage “in lieu” of “perks.”

Why don’t we cut some of the dead weight at the top, and put these people back in the classrooms? We added how many coordinator jobs right after closing two schools because of budget cuts? Put these people in classes, and class sizes will be reduced. If you don't think class size matters, talk to any teacher, and see what they say. It's hard to get good scores in math when we can't fill positions with highly qualified staff. It's hard to get good scores in math when we stuff over thirty kids in each class.

By the way, 45-10 doesn’t fix class sizes or salaries. It’s not the solution either.

Posted: Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Article comment by: Perpetual Learning

"It would behove the school board to look into the curriculum and all school districts in the state of Arizona to get back to teaching basics rather than forcing parents into yet another change that will cause more hardship on parents and reports show year long schools have no more success across the country than the current system.

You should be more concerned about content of curriculum than your schedule.
The fact is the Common Core program is an Indoctrination program pushed by the Fed. Administration!!!"

Oh dear. Another rant on a conspiracy theory that's been long debunked. Common Core actually allows students in the USA the ability to match up to the intellect of their fellow peers across the world. The curriculum's fine as it is. The old Arizona standards were outdated, general, and far from challenging as the Arizona College and Career Readiness standards are.

Posted: Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Article comment by: No Name

To all those who complain about the "bad teachers within KUSD, perhaps you need to look at the evaluation process. Teachers have a monthly drop in check where they are looked at along with what they say they are teaching, if they have the common core standard listed along with several other things even before the evaluator looks at if they are teaching what they are told. If the evaluator see's anything that they deem as terribly wrong the teacher can be put on a improvement plan. They are also evaluated from bell to bell at least once a year and are looked at under a microscope. If you are not aware of the evaluation system than perhaps you should take the time to look before saying there are all these bad teachers. Just because you don't like the fact that your child is failing or doing poorly perhaps it has just as much or not more with the effort that is being put forth by your student.

Posted: Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Article comment by: Amaryllis Smith

It would behove the school board to look into the curriculum and all school districts in the state of Arizona to get back to teaching basics rather than forcing parents into yet another change that will cause more hardship on parents and reports show year long schools have no more success across the country than the current system.

You should be more concerned about content of curriculum than your schedule.
The fact is the Common Core program is an Indoctrination program pushed by the Fed. Administration!!!

Posted: Monday, January 20, 2014
Article comment by: KUSD Teacher

Until this district is able to attract better teachers, it will probably always be a C district. Teachers don’t want to move here and get paid half of what they could earn in other districts. You have to offer a competitive salary. Then, you have to give raises to keep those good teachers. Instead, the teachers keep getting “perks in lieu” of a livable wage. Then, those “perks” are ripped away from us after a few years. Late start Wednesdays was a “perk in lieu” of a raise. Now we’re about to lose that too, because the district has a problem with teachers getting a whole hour a week to do work.

If your child has a good teacher, thank them. They sure aren't getting thanked by this district.

Posted: Monday, January 20, 2014
Article comment by: KUSD Teacher

KUSD has many good teachers despite the pathetic pay. If your child is lucky enough to get one of these teachers, he/she probably won’t need to go to the intercessions

Has your child ever had a bad teacher in this district? Is the 45-10 schedule going to help this teacher? If your child has a bad teacher and fails to pass a test, your child now gets the pleasure of missing part of his break, because that’s the solution. Teachers teach, not calendars. Kids who have bad teachers will suffer. The 45-10 calendar does nothing to make sure there aren’t bad teachers.

Does anybody really wonder why so many KUSD teachers’ children attend KAOL? Will this calendar really fix the district’s problems? No. Instead, it will force children to miss break time to go get more bad instruction. What’s the plan to fix instruction? Beyond Textbooks? .

How many positions were invented and added at the district office? How many coordinators do we now have? How many student achievement leaders do we have and need? Take these people, and put them back in the classrooms. That’ll save money and reduce class sizes. That’s positive change.

Posted: Monday, January 20, 2014
Article comment by: Nikki Berry

@ Kingman Dweller

If parents decide that their children will not be starting school on the start date because of a vacation that "just so happens" to correspond with the school start date, ESPECIALLY when it's being implemented not this coming school year, but NEXT year (IE Aug 2015), then those parents should be held accountable for those children missing those days.

If my child misses over a certain number of days at school (currently 10), it is determined they've missed too much of the curriculum and they receive no credit for the class, and must repeat the grade.

There is no "My child will start after we get back from vacation." Education trumps vacation. Or, at least it should. You have been given notice that the new schedule begins with the 2015-2016 school year. Plan accordingly for two summers from now. Sheesh.

Posted: Sunday, January 19, 2014
Article comment by: Gustavo Fring

So why didn't it work for high school? What were the issues? Sports I agree is a huge part of school but academics should take the forefront. There are still 6 weeks of summer. They aren't taking the entire summer away. They're just shaving off 3 weeks and inserting those 3 weeks throughout the year. There is still a summer vacation where the kids and they're parents are free from school. From my understanding the school district's adopted the curriculum from one of the most successful school districts in the state, which has a "year round" schedule. They found success through this. Why can't we?

Sports schedules can be arranged around the school year without interruption and the district is giving everyone an extra year to prepare. I think that's reasonable. The two weeks after each quarter is being used to help the students who score low on the various tests that determines the school grade. That's a significant way to improve test scores.

Students in high school need a certain amount of credits and if they are deficient, then they risk not graduating on time if at all. If teachers are able to help them during those 2 weeks, then they have a chance at doing well on the standardized tests the schools have the students take each year.

Posted: Sunday, January 19, 2014
Article comment by: Oh Ya

Do not let the Administrators trick you into an automatic approval next year. Make them bring it to a vote again. By them saying it's delayed for a year doesn't mean you don't get a vote.

Posted: Sunday, January 19, 2014
Article comment by: Kingman Dweller

@Gustavo Fring
Thanks for voicing your opinion. I understand how you say that it would work well in high school, but having come from year round school in the past, it proved to be great for elementary and not well for high school. Like it or not, sports is a huge part of high school.
Summer vacations will still be taken no matter when the school says the kids must start. "Common Sense" as you put it, would be to leave the schedule alone and figure other reasons why the school aptitude scores are so low.

Posted: Sunday, January 19, 2014
Article comment by: Gustavo Fring

@ Kingman Dweller

So they shouldn't have the 45-10 calendar for high school because of sports? I'm sorry I was under the impression that this move was for education and education should be the primary factor of why the school district is doing this. The number of days students stay in school won't change. Just the distribution of those days throughout the year. I think this would be vital in the high school because failing students can recover before final grades are submitted and they lose a credit. The intercessions during those 2 weeks could save a lot of students from having to make up credits and graduating later. Sure, they'll have to modify the schedule of training, practice, and games/matches/competitions. But that can be remedied in the next year before the 45-10 schedule is implemented. It's called "planning ahead".

Parent's will not want to cut back their summer vacations because school starts earlier? That seems to be more on the parents than it is on the school. If your kid starts school on a certain date, it's common sense to bring them on that first day. If the kid doesn't then it's up to him/her and their parents to ensure they make up the work.

Posted: Saturday, January 18, 2014
Article comment by: Kingman Dweller

It is like I said before. I don't believe that this 45-10 calendar should apply to the High School levels. They need to stay traditional. This is an interruption to the sports schedules. Also, we already know that many parents will not cut their summer vacations because the school wants the kids back early. Starting back in the middle of July will make several kids miss the first few weeks of school as some people are locked in to when they can take vacations.
It was pretty clear as to where parents stood on this issue, but it would seem that the whole "Town Hall" meetings were nothing more than the district being able to say that they cared enough to get the input from the community. Problem is, they just don't care enough actually listen to what was said lound and clear.

Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014
Article comment by: KUSD Teacher

Who says that the late start Wednesdays are very unpopular, district administration? What do we teachers allegedly do during this time? Well, we sit back drinking lattés and lounge around a luxurious school pool while being served gourmet desserts off of a silver platter. Seriously, we work. You see, we can’t seem to get paid a decent wage, so our district keeps giving us “perks in lieu” of raises. That’s how the whole late start Wednesday schedule started. Now, we get to have an extra hour a week to attend meetings, attend professional development, grade papers, prepare for lessons, respond to parents, and try to figure out how we can survive Beyond Textbooks. That’s what we allegedly do, and that’s why we allegedly had a “perk in lieu” of a raise. It’s pretty sad when our “perk” is more time to do our jobs.

Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014
Article comment by: T Hunter

I am so excited for the 45-10 schedule! Is it the ANSWER of all answers to the questions about our district's overall grade? Most likely, not. However, we MUST try to better serve our students in any way we can. We must remember that this is about education, not about childcare. What did parents do with their children before they were old enough to go to school? They found should NOT be looked upon as childcare.
Most of us agree that there needs to be more parental involvement in the education of their children.... the problems I see are Many parents just don't care and are merely happy to get their kids out of the house for a few hours and other parents care but do not feel adequately educated to be of assistance to their child when it comes to helping with homework (lets be honest, these days a 6th grader can be far more educated than their parents). Rather than fearing or rejecting change, we should embrace it and look for solutions to make the change successful .

Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014
Article comment by: Just J

Actually the introduced schedule was not true year round school. A more appropriate year round schedule would be the 12-1 schedule where every 12 weeks there is a 1 week break, and with this schedule we could finally do away with the very UNPOPULAR late start Wednesday because the staff and teachers can use the 1 week off for whatever it is they allegedly do on Wednesday morning. They could still do 2 weeks in December. That would be a TRUE year round school. I am all for the year round just to get rid of the ridiculous late start days that screw everything up.

Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014
Article comment by: Rebecca Smith

The article stated that a 45-15 was previously tried at Palo Cristi and Cerbat, and it was successful....If that is true, wouldn't it have been continued and implemented in all schools? Also, the article listed NUMEROUS changes that were implemented this year....yet the scores are STILL coming in low. Soooooo, after all of the changes over the last three years, still we are chasing our tail and throwing the mess against the wall to see what sticks. Now we are told that if we disrupt the schedule AGAIN, it might work. As Carol Ann Rivera said, "What happens if this doesn't work?" The entire district needs a complete over hall. Plenty of schools and districts are succeeding with traditional schedules, so this is not the silver bullet. I bet that if we brought in high performing teachers and administrators from these successful areas to observe daily what goes on from the top down, they could tell us within a month EXACTLY what the problems are....and they would not be due to a lack of ABC programs, and school year schedules! By the way, when ARE those next board elections???!!!

Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014
Article comment by: Origional Kingman Resident

"The 3 voting to delay this whole process did a disservice to the children and citizens of Kingman. Now they (and we) have to go through this whole thing again in a year. "

Don know what process you think has been delayed. The article states the board approved a three year plan with the first year being traditional and the next two years being 45-10.

They did not table the decision for a year, as your comment seems to suggest.

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