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Last week, we announced a change to our school start/end times. We have since heard from parents who agree with the proposal, as well as parents who do not.

While there is not universal agreement about the specifics of the plan, we can all agree that changing start/end times is significant for all families. Therefore, to provide more clarity and better understanding about the impacts and scope of this proposal, we are delaying its implementation until the 2024-25 school year.

This winter/spring, we will engage with our community about this topic in a variety of ways. We will first hold several in-person community forums across the district. We will present information, as well as answer questions and solicit feedback and possible solutions.

Once the dates, times and locations are finalized, we will send email notices and place these announcements on ASD20.ORG. If you have questions, ideas or concerns, we hope you can attend.

Because we are delaying the implementation of this plan, which also addressed transportation issues, we may not be able to provide bus services for field trips, after school activities and special events. It will be much like the past two years.

We appreciate your understanding and partnership as we continue to work toward the next steps in this process.

2023-24 Professional Learning Community (PLC) Changes

Following recommendations from the District Calendar Review Task Force, we scheduled 12 PLC two-hour late start days on Wednesdays this school year.

In December 2022 and January 2023, we collected parent/guardian and staff feedback about the implementation of these days. We had 3,150 parents/guardians and 783 staff complete the survey. In addition to the survey, we held discussions with school leadership about the new initiative.

Overall staff and parents/guardians have a high level of understanding of the purpose of the PLC two-hour late starts. However, parents/guardians and staff voiced suggestions for ways to improve the PLC two-hour late starts.  

As a result, there will be 12 two-hour late starts on the first and third Fridays of each month for the 2023-24 school year. This change supports students who attend Career and Technical Education (CTE) and college courses. The change also supports the goal of increasing the number of college courses offered in our district.

Additionally, to create better engagement and awareness, our families have asked for increased communication about the topics being covered and the successes from the late-starts. We will therefore work to create increased communication and provide transparency.

Head’s Up, the Climate Survey is Coming

Later this month, on Monday, Feb. 27, we will deploy the 2023 district Climate Survey. This survey helps us gather feedback from students, parents/guardians and staff about the climate in our schools. The survey will be open for two weeks and close on March 10. We will deploy the survey via email, and a link will also be posted on ASD20.ORG.

February Parent Academies

Please join us for two Parent Academies in February. This month we’re discussing screen time and how it can affect students. We will also provide an “Ask a Therapist,” academy where our Family Resource Center therapists will be on-hand to answer specific questions about how to have difficult conversations with your children.

Read more about our Parent Academies on ASD20.ORG.

Our People: Elizabeth Bezerra

Elizabeth Bezerra, a first-grade teacher at Foothills Elementary School, displays her first-grade report card above her desk. That report card shows six-year-old Elizabeth was below reading grade level. However, she believes that showing students she also struggled allows her to build relationships and a strong foundation for learning.

Read more about Elizabeth, and the relationships she builds with students on ASD20.ORG

Be safe and be well.

Tom Gregory

Superintendent of Schools

Academy District 20