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Common H.S. schedule recommendation finalized

The purpose of the Natrona County School District’s Academy Based Learning Standing Committee, as outlined by NCSD Cabinet, is: “To collaboratively study academy-based learning, make recommendations to the Superintendent/Cabinet and formulate related communications. Currently focused on high schools with middle school and elementary schools to follow.”
The District defines academy-based learning as an instruction model that “provides a relevant and captivating education for all NCSD students, ensuring they have the knowledge, skills and abilities to compete successfully in a global economy. Academy learning engages our students, teachers, parents, community, industry, and higher education in authentic (real-life) and innovative learning environments. This provides students opportunities to become independent lifelong learners, digitally literate, inventive thinkers, effective communicators, highly productive, and healthy stewards. Academy learning gives them a seamless preparation from high school graduation into college and a career. 

The February 12 Meeting began with association representative comments. There were no comments from NCAESS or SEIO. NCEA representatives said they had sent out the draft of the common high school start/stop times and had heard that many certified staff members didn’t have an opportunity to review it.

Next the group reviewed the previous recommendation of the common high school schedule, which was clarified to be matching start/stop times and matching collaborative times only. The variances can be within the school day.

The previous recommendation, including transportation system modifications, was reviewed by Cabinet and asked to be re-worked. Syd Webb, NCSD’s Transportation Director, responded with a 3-tier system that would support the common start/stop times as presented in the common schedule.

The amended recommendation is as follows:


The Academy-Based Learning Standing Committee recommends the deployment of a 3 Tier System approach using a “Bus Hub” mechanism to accommodate the proposed high school schedule and to meet Cabinet’s requirements of not impacting other school level schedules and have little to no fiscal impact on the district budgeting process. This is similar to the current transportation design, but would incorporate a Bus Hub.

Grade Level Tiers (3)

  •       Elementary
  •       Middle School
  •       High School
  •       Midwest and Special Education on separate, single systems

Tentative Bus Hub Location

  •       Park Elementary

Relevant Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Middle school schedule unchanged Ridership time increased
Common high school schedule Continued overtime expense
Elementary schedule unchanged Increasing drivers
Meets high school schedule priorities Possible expense for site improvements at bus hubs
Agility to transportation system – less impact with changes to system Communication to parents
Increased activity appeasement Activity start time at middle and high schools
Minimal amount of organizational stress Does not improve activity support
Monitors ride buses to support drivers  
Reduce bus confusion at school sites  
Access to all schools  
Later start supports adolescent learning  


Further Considerations

  •       Bus Hub impact on city streets depending on location
  •       Increased budget concerns – needs to be flat
  •       City approval and support
  •       Bus driver hours and contracts
  •       Impacting other grade levels and schools – system?


Some concerns have come from Park Elementary regarding their status as a bus hub home. Rumors have circulated that Park’s potential for a new building will be impacted by their bus hub status. That is not true. The Wyoming School Facilities Commission, with legislative approval, determines schedules for building new schools.

The group discussed the common features of the schedule:

–       Collaboration times for adults at 7:30 a.m.

–       5 minute passing periods

–       Student start time (8:20 a.m.) and student end time (3:24 p.m.)

–       1st lunch period is travel time for students attending classes at CAPS facility

–       At least two collaboration periods are without students per week

–       Leniency for RHS and MHS regarding lunch and passing periods, and end time

The group discussed the need for agreeing on common collaboration adult times. The group agreed to make those days Mondays and Wednesdays.

The next Academy-based Learning Standing Committee meeting is April 9.


Members in Attendance
NCASE: Amy Rose, Brad Diller, Chad Sharpe, Chris Tobin, Danna Anderson, Dean Kelly, Kathy Neely, Larry Meeboer, Ralph Obray, Ron Estes, Sandy Cherry, Scott Winter, Shawna Trujillo, Valerie Braughton, Nicole Rapp, Kent Thompson
NCEA: Patti Kimble, Erica Peterson, Jennifer Leimback
NCAESS: Michelle Blake
C&I Division: Mark Mathern, Kelly Hornby, Nancy Johnson, Mancy Hurley, Molly Voris
Communications: Allen Bruggman
Recorder: Sarah Prosinski



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This entry was posted on March 31, 2014 by in In Focus.

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