January, Fri 09, 2015 - Sage International
From the Board of Directors:
Calendar & Schedule Update for 2014/15 and 2015/16 School Years
Over the course of two months, our board-assigned Committee met with stakeholders to gather information regarding the proposal to shorten the school day by 30 minutes this year. Specifically, the Committee met with: (1) the teachers on a Professional Development Friday; (2) Administration; and (3) Sage Community through 2 “town halls” gatherings. We received a great deal of valuable information at these meetings and presented our findings to the Board and Administration. Thank you to everyone who participated in this process, we very much appreciate your input and support.
NO SCHEDULE CHANGE THIS YEAR: After hearing from our stakeholders, Sage International determined not to alter the daily schedule for this year. Stakeholder input was fairly balanced between positives and concerns regarding a mid-year change. The Committee recommended, and leadership agreed, that the best approach was to leave the schedule unchanged for now and to use the information gathered by the Committee as a resource when analyzing possible changes to next year’s schedule. Accordingly, the daily schedule will remain unchanged for the remainder of the current school year.
CHANGES FOR 2015/16: Sage International’s leadership considered a number of factors, including the information gathered via the Committee, when developing the 201/16 Calendar. The Board-approved 2015/16 calendar reflects Sage International’s move toward a more balanced academic calendar. The 2015/16 calendar decreases the summer break from 10 weeks to 8 weeks as we work to minimize the ‘summer slide’ (students lose 15% of academic gains over a 10-week summer) and to better align with IB’s 6-week ‘Unit of Inquiry’ cycle. This year, we ‘piloted’ a minimal shift to a more balanced schedule and matching the 6-week cycle with a week off in late September - 6 weeks into the school year. Our observation is that the break provided a valuable ‘reboot’ opportunity for students and teachers after our initial 6-week start to the school year. Specific calendar changes include: (1) providing a week break in February; and (2) pushing ‘spring break’ from March to April.
Next year, Sage International will move to a 7-hour school day operating on an 8:30 to 3:30 schedule.** The reasons Sage International’s leadership determined to shorten the school day include but are not limited to: (1) to better accommodate after-school sports and extracurricular activities; (2) to provide a 1/2 hour of teacher prep time before and after school within an 8-hour work day; and (3) shortening what is a very long school day for students. We will ‘tighten up’ the school day - many students have 100 minutes of breaks/lunch within the current 8-hour day - with next year’s 7-hour school day, we will reduce daily non-instruction time to 50-60 minutes each day depending on grade level. We are also adding a week to the calendar to ensure that the annual instructional hours offered by Sage International remain consistent and continue to meet and/or exceed all applicable instructional hour requirements.
With the school day ending a half-hour earlier, Sage International’s leadership anticipates increased demand for the E-Sage Mon-Thurs after-school program. Please know that E-Sage has the capacity to accommodate all interested students/families for our after-school program. E-Sage will begin half-an-hour earlier (3:30) and will continue to run until 6:00. The cost of E-Sage’s Mon-Thurs after-school programming will not increase - we will provide this additional half-hour at no cost to Sage families.
We are excited about the new 2015/16 Calendar and schedule and are pleased to provide this to families so you can make fully informed decisions regarding enrollment for the coming year. We are looking forward to a great 2015/16 at Sage International.
FOOTNOTE:**Our city-issued ‘use permit’ at Parkcenter requires a 20 minute stagger between elementary and middle school start/finish times. The permit envisions an 'annual review’ of this requirement. Sage International will request removal of the permit’s ‘stagger’ requirement. If the condition is removed, the 7-hour day for all Parkcenter grade levels (K-8th) will be 8:30-3:30. If the condition remains, we will establish the required 20 minute stagger and inform the community accordingly.