The 2018-2019 Lafayette Parish School System calendar has been released, and there are some changes to which all parents should be aware.
Inservice days have changed from full days to half days, and there are a total of six for next school year.
The days are set aside for teacher inservice, but the school system still wants students to have instructional time on these days. The school system says they have valid reasons for these changes, but some parents don’t agree it’s the best thing to do.
LPSS’s Chief Administrative Officer Joe Craig said this was decided earlier this year, and the decision is in the best interest of the teachers.
"We do that so that we still get to see the kids every day. We get to feed them lunch; we keep the routine for the kids going. But, it allows the teachers and the administrators to work collaboratively in the afternoon to implement curricular changes and mandates. It allows time for mandatory training by the state and professional development," Craig said.
Some parents aren’t pleased with the change, saying it is very difficult to take six days off of work to get children from school at noon or arrange half days of daycare for school-age children. The board said there is a method to their change.
"What’s happened over the years with all the different encumbrances on teachers’ time, there really isn’t time during a regular school day; there really isn’t time to do all these activities," Craig said.
"The big thing we are looking at is the state standard and the content standard for the different content areas, and how we can implement and make sure those standards are being taught. And then what’s really been a focus for us in the last several years is aligning the assessments with the standards we are teaching," Craig said.
Elisa Norton, a parent of three students in the Lafayette Parish School System, doesn’t agree with the change at all.
"I don’t feel like kids are going to get a useful day out of three hours of school. I feel like there’s probably going to be more wasted time than not than for them to be at home," Norton said.
Craig said the school system believes this is the best option for teachers and parents, who should have enough time to plan.
"This calendar was approved late winter, I want to say the January or February meeting, and that gives parents opportunity. It’s posted online, and parents can see when the holidays are well in advance so they can make arrangements," Craig said.