CCRSB schools agree to stretch school day
ALMA – Students will have six more minutes of class time each day beginning in early February.
All schools within the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board have committed to this six-minute extension in instructional time. Once the new initiative is implemented, students will leave two hours early once a month to make up for the longer school days.
Meanwhile, teachers will use that half-day off per month to collaborate on effective student learning strategies, teaching techniques and assessment practices.
"We recognize we need to give teachers more time to collaborate on student learning and effective instruction," said Gary Clarke, school board director of education. "Our board is providing that time in a learning community model as a plan to improve overall student learning."
The strategy is one commonly used throughout North America, as Lynn MacLean pointed out.
"We have been asking for this for years," said MacLean, family of schools supervisor for the Celtic Family of Pictou County. "This isn't a new concept. The Annapolis Valley School Board, for example, has been doing this for at least three years."
Furthermore, MacLean said teachers from each individual school will meet to discuss the results from provincial and regional assessments, as well as teachers' assessments gathered over the past three years.
They will use that data to address strengths and weaknesses of the curriculum.
"It's an opportunity for teachers to look at the data we have, and make some informed decisions about what we need to improve on, and what we're doing well."
Northumberland Regional High School principal Bob Ballantyne said both teachers and students will benefit from the initiative. Like MacLean, he said teachers have wanted extra time to address student achievement for quite some time.
"What teachers have been saying for a while is 'we need time to sit and work together to talk about the practices which we use every day," Ballantyne said.