Catskill elementary school changing to flexible schedule
Nancy Kern reports for Columbia-Greene Media that the Catskill Central School District has changed its elementary school day schedule this coming year. The school is eliminating its traditional 42-minute bell schedule for a flexible approach focused on students’ needs and teacher prep time. Teachers get an additional 237 minutes of prep time under the plan that was approved at the board's July 26 meeting. Teachers explained at the meeting that if a student was having trouble with a specific math concept but are quickly mastering a language arts topic, a teacher could lengthen the math periods one or several days for that student, while shortening their time in language arts. Teachers will need more prep time to make customized lesson plans, rather than just one plan for the entire class. Math teacher Cherie Dottino said, “That same prep hour looks like four groups, differentiated for every student, all of them learning exactly what they need to learn, so while it’s much better for our students, it requires a lot more planning time and preparation.” The school is also adding time to study for the state’s mandated standardized tests. Read more about this story at HudsonValley360.com.