Late-start at KMC, Baumholder schools made permanent

With her first-graders gathered around on the first day of school on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, Ramstein Elementary School teacher Janet Bridges tries to remember names of all of her students.


By JENNIFER H. SVAN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: October 19, 2017

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Late-start Thursdays that began earlier this month on a trial basis at all Kaiserslautern Military Community and Baumholder schools will now be permanent after the first two weeks, during which the adjusted schedule went smoothly, school officials said.

Last month, school administrators told parents they would use October to assess the program — aimed at giving teachers more time to work with and learn from their peers — and make adjustments as needed.

But just two weeks into the late start, “administrators and district leadership were able to determine that there were no significant issues that would preclude continuing the schedule as part of normal school operations,” Department of Defense Education Activity-Europe spokesman Will Griffin said Thursday in a statement.

“During that period, there were no reports of negative feedback from parents or community partners.”

Thursday was the third late start for students at KMC-area and Baumholder schools since the pilot program began Oct. 5. Earlier this week, school officials began informing parents by email that the late start would become a regular part of the school schedule.

Multiple parents said during information sessions before Oct. 5 that they would prefer the decision on the program’s status “be made sooner, rather than later,” to avoid upsetting new routines midsemester or midyear, Griffin said.

KMC and Baumholder schools were among the last in DODEA to set aside at least 45 minutes a week during the school day for teachers to collaborate with their colleagues. Most military schools in the Pacific, the States and elsewhere in Europe have either a weekly late arrival or early departure for students, DODEA officials have said.

The “focused collaboration” — a requirement of all schools from DODEA headquarters — is designed to give educators a chance to discuss practices, analyze student data and design instruction aligned to standards, DODEA says. Those standards have been revamped with the introduction over the past several years of College and Career Ready Standards in core subject areas such as math and language arts.

In the KMC, adjustments to child care were made to accommodate working parents on late-start mornings. Before-school programs were extended by an hour on Thursdays, while parents were also given the option of signing their child up for in-school supervision if needed.

Twitter: @stripes.ktown


from around the web