By Alex Vickery and Emily Gulanczyk, Editors
What do students need to know and be able to do? How will they know when they have learned it? What will they do when they haven’t learned it? What will they do when they already know it? These are the four questions that teachers and administration try to answer when they collaborate once a week.
Currently, the high school faculty only collaborates for 30 minutes a week, while the elementary schools and middle school collaborate for 200 or 205 minutes a week, respectively. Principal Chip Hickman said the school needed more time to collaborate and talk each week, so next year KHS will implement Access, a time for teachers and administration to work together to improve the school. With the needed time for the Access, there will be a one hour late start on Thursday’s.
Last spring, Hickman assessed 18 schools in Kane County and the surrounding area, and he found that 60 minutes of collaboration time was the standard for most schools.
“In 30 minutes, you can’t get through the four questions,” Hickman said.
“The other schools have more collaboration time because of the way their schedules are worked. The middle school and other schools have more of a team concept, and the high school doesn’t have that opportunity,” math teacher and KEA president Sharon Beck said.
Access will take place every Thursday, which administration chose because Mondays and Fridays are the most missed days of the school year.
“Thursdays are less impacted,” Hickman said.
During Access, teachers will split into groups and answer the essential four questions about various subjects, such as reading skill sets, math knowledge and evaluating assessments, tests and quizzes. Administrators will attend every week.
“It will be beneficial because teachers need time together to work on initiatives, a chance to share resources and teaching techniques. We always have room for improvement,” Beck said.
Because of the 60 minutes Access is going to take up, Thursdays will be starting at 8:40 and will be followed by a shortened schedule.
“Every period will be shortened by about four or five minutes,” Hickman said.
The buses will still run at the same time, so many students will still arrive before 7:30 a.m. Students will possibly have the chance to use the new Career Center, get free ACT test preparations or have free time to spend in the library. Although students won’t have to be at school during Access, they are encouraged to come. Some options that student have is to utilize the LRC for research or homework, work in the computer lab, make up tests or quizzes, receive tutoring, club meetings and open gym.
“I think students will enjoy the options. There’s going to be break in the schedule and there’s going to be a day where things are different, which is good,” Beck said.
“I think it will give the students more time to complete homework and some extra time with friends,” sophomore Jenna Unruh said.