On Thursday, March 26, the Scarborough Board of Education will hold a special meeting regarding proposed changes to the new academic year calendar.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria at Wentworth School. The goal is for parents, school staff and community members to understand the need for more staff development time, according to Superintendent George Entwistle.

The initial proposal was for the school department to institute a late start to the school day every Wednesday, except for the first two and last two weeks of the academic year.

With the late starts, school would begin at 10:15 a.m. for K-2; 9:45 a.m. for Wentworth; 9:10 a.m. for the middle school; and 9 a.m. for the high school.

However, the school board has also indicated it would be supportive of early release on Wednesdays instead, if that would work better for local families.

Under the early release model, students would leave school at 1:45 p.m. for the primary schools; 1:15 p.m. for Wentworth; 12:40 p.m. for the middle school; and 12:30 p.m. for the high school.

One thing Entwistle is clear on, though, is that teachers need more time to meet professional development requirements, particularly since teachers must change how and what they teach to keep pace with changing expectations for student learning.

In a recent presentation to the school board, Entwistle emphasized that, “time needs to be dedicated to thoughtful evaluation, selection and roll out of curriculum.” And, he said, “The work of planning and developing lessons and units that are truly responsive to the needs of students needs to be done collaboratively.”

Overall, Entwistle said that the new school calendar proposal “was thoughtfully and analytically developed” in order to increase the school district’s instructional quality.

Call or email the superintendent at 730-4100 or [email protected] for more information regarding the changes to the school calendar.

– Kate Irish Collins

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