School day schedule to change this fall

According to a story on the Mercer Island School District Web site, nearly 1,000 parents participated in a survey designed to assess support for moving the early release day in Mercer Island public schools from Monday to Wednesday and lengthening the instructional day for high school only on the early release day.

Eighty-seven percent of parents either supported or were neutral regarding the proposed changes to the high school schedule.

Parents at all three levels supported moving the elementary and middle school day from Mondays to Wednesdays by a two-thirds  margin when asked if the change occurred at the high school.

Several factors were considered in making the change, including: the number of instructional minutes per class; the placement of BRIDGES (the mixed-grade, peer-advisory /homeroom class), and characteristics of the modified block schedule. Last December, a committee was formed to examine these factors and to discuss the possible reorganization of the minutes within the academic day.

The committee then proposed a high school schedule that required the change to the early release day and one that required lengthening the number of instructional minutes on the early release day.

School administrators added the early release day in 2004 to accommodate teachers’ need for more preparation time away from the classroom. The addition of the changes in BRIDGES curriculum at  the high school was also a factor in changes at the high school.

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