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Next Year's School Calendar To Have Fewer Educational Days for Students

Students in Lakeville's schools will be going to class two fewer times next year. The move allows teachers to have more time for grading, training, and ultimately, teaching, administrators say.

Next year's educational calendar is a good news, bad news proposition for Lakeville's public school families.

On Jan. 8, the district's School Board approved next year's educational calendar and it features two fewer educational days for students.

(See the calendars by clicking on them to the right.)

Lakeville already had more educational days for students as compared to other local school districts (see table below). By reducing in-class days for students, teachers, administrators say, will have more time for curriculum planning, grading papers, and professional development.

Superintendent Dr. Lisa Snyder told Lakeville Patch that the calendar change makes Lakeville a "21st Century school district."

"The bottom line is do we want 'A' teachers or 'C' teachers?" she said. "If we want our teachers to be high performing, then we have to create the systems, training and structures to support them."

According to the document approved at the School Board meeting, even with the two-day class time reduction, "we see a recapturing of this time ... because students are spending less class time on district assessments and teachers are not pulled out of class-time as often for professional development/curriculum work."

Snyder said the district worked collaboratively with Education Minnesota Lakeville, the district's teacher's union, in looking at the calendar, with the process then moving to committees for research before formal adoption.

All told, the process took more than a year, Snyder said.

School District Secondary Class Days Elementary Class Days Lakeville 175, moving to 173 173, moving to 171 Farmington 174 174 Prior Lake 173 173 Minnetonka 173 173 Bursnville-Savage 172 172 Wayzata 172 172 District 196 171 171 Edina 171 171
Smokin' Joe January 12, 2013 at 09:35 PM
There are so many things wrong with this that it's impossible to know where to begin. More educuation should be better, right? Sacrificing any school day time for prep work or any of the myriad of field trips, conferences, movies, etc. is moving in the wrong direction. I totally disagree that dumbing down this scool district to that of the surrounding districts is an accomplishment that moves us into the 21st century. When the rest of the world seems to be passing us by in education, it seems obvious that the school year should be extended rather than shortened. I have the utmost of respect for the teachers of this district and their professionalism. As professionals, they should be expected to be competent and accomplished at their jobs, which means that occasionally they may have to put in more than their 6 1/2 hours per day. Taking class time for "professional development" is a really nice perk, but it works against the mission of our schools.
terry January 20, 2013 at 01:37 PM
Just more evidence the School district is all about the teachers and not the students. there are so many days during the year with 'teacher days' it is ridiculous. this is what the NEA pushes and why schools underperform - it is more for the teachers than our children. So sick of the teacher's union. When will parents unite and say enough, but they all just follow along and don't get involved. And your paper puts it in small print once the titles are expanded so we have to search for the small print. way to go patch
Concerend Citizen January 21, 2013 at 05:56 PM
There is so much misinformation floating around out there! Terry have you looked at the school calendar? This year there are two full days that teachers get during the school year along with 2 late starts and early releases each. If you add that up that is a total of 4 days. Here's the deal the teachers don't get 4 full days to work in their classrooms to grade, plan and catch up. All most that entire time is spent working on district mandates. I for one appreciate Dr. Snyder's move to give teachers more professional development time. Two extra days are not going to destroy the reputation of our district. Actually if you look at countries that have amazing educational systems they give their teachers a lot more professional development time than what the teachers get in Lakeville.....they also pay them a whole lot more too. What I wish more people would get worked up about is the amount of budget cuts that the district has had to make and all the programming that we have lost. I know there are a lot of people who value and respect teachers and know how hard they work and that they are some of the most unselfish individuals out there. What makes me mad is when the district is actually doing something to benefit teachers and in turn the students people go in to their rants about how evil teacher's unions are. Teachers are professionals who do work really hard and deserve to be treated that way. I am glad they are getting the extra time they deserve!
Smokin' Joe January 22, 2013 at 12:17 AM
Comparing the educational system here to that of Germany or Japan is almost impossible, as we strive to educate everybody, not just the educable. Consequently, many of our teachers do more caretaking than teaching. Considering that our federal government is broke, and our state government is looking under every rock for an extra dime to spend, it hardly makes economic sense to pay a babysitter $50K a year for what would be a part-time job in most professions. The teacher's union is hardly evil, they are very, very, good at what they do. Their job is to get the absolute most in benefits and pay for their members. Their job is not to ensure that Johnny can read. That's what our school board is supposed to be doing. Being competent and keeping your skills up-to-date on your own dime is expected in the private sector. The financial realities of the last decade would suggest that it's eventually coming to the public sector as well. I guess what surprises me most here is that lack of outrage from our teachers over this plan. It's hardly flattering when the Superintendant states that the educational system will be improved by having our teachers teach less.

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