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Wednesday school days shorter in TUSD next year
back to school
Students at all Turlock Unified School District campuses, except Roselawn, will be released almost an hour earlier on Wednesdays starting with next school year. - photo by Journal file photo

Parents of students in the Turlock Unified School District may need to make child care changes to adjust to the new bell schedule on Wednesdays next school year that has students released almost an hour earlier to accommodate the District’s new Local Control Accountability Plan.

The LCAP is one component of the new state mandated Local Control Funding Formula that requires school districts to prepare a plan detailing ways in which it will meet the needs of students as well as state and local priorities. Set to be implemented on July 1 for the 2014-2015 school year, TUSD has allotted time on Wednesdays to allow teachers to meet across grade levels in order to not only address student needs in a case by case basis, but also communicate across grade levels as the District undergoes its first official year with Common Core State Standards.

 “The essence of our LCAP is really centered around two main components, that being embedded collaboration for all staff and a focus on embedded interventions and enrichment for students as we embark on Common Core,” said Dana Trevethan, assistant superintendent of Educational Services. “Embedded collaboration is focused on diagnosing, assessing and prescribing immediate intervention the week that we find out that a student has a need. Not waiting a quarter, not waiting a trimester, not waiting a full year, but immediately that following day students will be getting the additional support or enrichment that they are showing they are in need of.”

Wednesday will be dubbed Turlock Unified School District’s Collaboration Day which means students will be released early from school to allow teachers time to meet and discuss individual student development and prepare to meet those needs on Thursdays and Fridays. The new system will impact transitional kindergarteners and kindergarteners by conflating the morning and afternoon sessions into one Wednesday morning session, which will feature educational rotations before releasing students at the regular morning release time. First through sixth grade students will be released 45 minutes early on Wednesdays while seventh through 12th grade students will be released 50 minutes earlier.

“Our goal is that Turlock High School and Dutcher, as well as Pitman High School and Turlock Junior High School will have a release time within five to seven minutes of each other so that we can include in our collaboration plan articulation time so that staff at TJHS can meet on a regular basis with Pitman teachers as we look at Common Core and the transitions needed to be made as well as duplicating that with Dutcher and Turlock High,” said Trevethan.

Roselawn High School will continue with its established embedded collaboration time and eCademy Charter at Crane will mirror the elementary and high school schedules with an intervention plan that allows the small staff at the charter to collaborate with those at other sites.

Release times vary at the different educational campuses in TUSD, but parents can expect detailed information in the coming weeks in order to prepare for the Wednesday changes that will occur at their child’s campus. The District will also be working with the City of Turlock to secure after school programs at the four remaining campuses that do not currently offer them. Parents should expect a written letter as well as a recorded message, which will be made to each home three times in July and two times in August, as well as reminders that will be sent with back to school literature before the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year.