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Banks schools initiate late start


Banks School Board members Monday night approved a plan to start school 45 minutes later once a week to allow time for teacher collaboration.

Banks joins other school districts in Washington County in implementing a weekly late start/early release. Forest Grove started a similar plan beginning with the 2010-11 school year.

Banks teachers currently have three full inservice days for staff development, a “parachute drop” approach, said Superintendent Bob Huston, where teachers spend a full day in training, then return to classes with no real time to implement new ideas. “It makes no sense to say we’re going to improve student achievement without a pathway to get there,” he said.

Under the late start plan, teachers and staff can collaborate weekly as “targeted teams of people getting at the heart of improving learning” for individual students, said Huston.

“Staff development is taking a whole new course,” he added.

Beginning with the 2013-14 school year, the school day for all students in the district will begin at 9:15 a.m. on Wednesdays and at 8:30 a.m. the remainder of the week. Huston said there has been no discussion about providing a before school program on Wednesdays, other than the child care that is currently offered before school hours.