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New Oak Creek-Franklin School District school hours may take affect for 2014-15 school year

May 6, 2014

Oak Creek — About 30 minutes may be added to the elementary school day in the Oak Creek-Franklin School District, with only slight changes made to middle and high school hours, the school board discussed Monday, April 28.

If approved by the board May 12, the proposed change would take effect in the 2014-15 school year and address teacher concerns that there is not enough time in the day to cover the entire curriculum at the elementary level, said Superintendent Sara Burmeister.

OCFSD'S elementary school day is the shortest elementary school day compared to all of its neighboring districts, including Wauwatosa, Whitnall, West Milwaukee and St. Francis, among others. Wauwatosa has the longest day, from 8:15 a.m. to 3:20 p.m.

"If we're not outstanding at the elementary school level, we need to start moving the times up," said Vice President of the Board Paul Mason.

The district's elementary school day is 6.5 hours, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Under the new proposal, the tardy bell would ring at 8 a.m. with final dismissal at 3:05 p.m.

"Within our 6.5-hour school day, students have one hour of lunch and recess time throughout the day, so the instructional time is really only 5.5 hours," said Burmeister in an email.

To accommodate the change without interfering with bus schedules, middle and high school schedule changes would be minor.

OCFSD high school would begin at 7:30 a.m. and dismiss at 2:45 p.m. The current day is from 7:35 a.m. to 2:50 p.m. Middle schools would dismiss at 3:45 p.m. rather than 3:30 p.m. The 8:30 a.m. start time would remain the same.

"The school day at all levels would be seven-plus hours, making us more consistent with our neighboring districts," the proposal said.

State law currently requires a minimum number of instructional hours at the elementary and secondary level, rather than a number of days. Hours do not include lunch and recess time.

The board also noted that as long as schools meet the annual hourly requirements, they would not necessarily have to make up all inclement weather days.

OCFSD middle and elementary schools are currently at the minimum number of state required hours, meaning there's room in the schedule for more instructional time. The high schools have 44.25 hours more than the state requirement.

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