Stevens Point school district joins Colby for late start program - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Stevens Point school district joins Colby for late start program

STEVENS POINT (WAOW)--Starting Friday, the school bell for students in Stevens Point will ring 90-minutes later. It's the first shot in a trial run to allow for teacher development.

For this school year, Stevens Point has scheduled four late-days. But Colby schools have been doing it once a week all year. For both districts, it's designed to help teachers.

Each year, Stevens Point schools build time into their schedules for teacher development. District leaders say it's crucial for making themselves better as educators.

So last year, school officials designed early release for students one day a month. But after some negative feedback from parents, the late-days are moving from the afternoon to the morning.

"The late start professional days are intended to give teachers a block of 90-minutes each month to talk about concerns and issues," said Attila Weninger, Stevens Point Superintendent.

Colby school leaders took it one step further--they have late-days once a week, every week. And like Stevens Point, they wanted to find a good compromise for everyone.

"As we started to look at what worked best for parents and combination of how we can get most consistent time for staff," said Steve Kolden, Colby Superintendent.

There are parents on both sides of the issue.

"For my son, it really doesn't make any difference because he is independent. He takes his own vehicle to school. So it really doesn't matter to him. Actually, he enjoys the late start one day a week," Amy Becker, mother of a Colby High School senior said.

"Myself, having young children, it affects me because kids need to go to daycare then and that costs money," Nicki Quarne, mother of two Colby Elementary students said.

Colby school leaders say the program may change even more.

"Education is constantly evolving. What I see is the need for more and more staff development," Kolden said.

Stevens Point school district officials say if the late-days this year are successful, they will work ten days into next year.

Stevens Point school leaders say they are also working with the YMCA to help parents. They say those with younger children will have child care provided before school on those late-start days.

Online Reporter: Cassandra Vinch

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