Beginning in the 2017-18 school year, all Berlin Middle and Berlin High School students will start school at 9 am every Thursday instead of the usual 7:55 am and 7:57 am start times. The doors to both the middle and high school will be locked for students until 8:40 am. This extra time allows for much-needed teacher professional development hours to help improve teacher practices leading to increased student achievement. The middle school and high school administration developed this plan after extensively researching increased consistent professional development time throughout the year and its positive effects on academic achievement. In their research, they found “that districts who averaged 49 hours or more of collaborative professional development time saw ‘a positive and significant effect’ on student achievement. Districts that spent an average of 30 hours a year saw no effect on student learning (US Department of Education, 2007).” “Our district is a continuous improvement district focused on staff development and student achievement. This new schedule allows for that critical collaboration time for staff to ensure student success,” remarked Dr. Bob Eidahl District Administrator.
The Berlin Area School District understands that changing school schedules can be challenging for families, so the administrators formed a community partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of the Tri-County Area to service all middle and high school students until school begins on late-start days. The Club will offer enrichment activities and breakfast during this time. “The Club welcomes this opportunity to collaborate with the Berlin Area School District, to provide families with a safe, educational and fun place for students before school,” said Jason Presto, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of the Tri-County Area.
Bus schedules will remain the same on late-start Thursdays. All middle and high school students who ride the bus at their normal time will be dropped off at the Boys and Girls Club and then bused from the Club back to school at 8:45 am. If a middle or high school student who walks to school wants to attend programming at the Boys and Girls Club, they are welcome to meet the “Club Bus” at school at 7:45 am which will pick them up at the normal bus pick up location behind the middle and high school.
Does my Middle School or High School child have to attend the Boys and Girls Club on late start days?
No, however all middle and high school students who take the bus will be dropped off at the Boys and Girls Club. If you want to bring your child to school in time for the 9 am late start, you are welcome to drive them
How does this affect Clay Lamberton students?
Clay Lamberton has already embedded weekly teacher collaboration time into their schedule so Clay students are not affected by this schedule change.
Why is the school district not offering the programming at the school instead of at the Club?
The Club is already set up to provide for enrichment programming. Additionally, teachers and other staff will be using their classrooms for the professional development opportunities, so space constraints will not allow the school district to offer programming at school.
How much does this cost our family to go to the Club?
All middle and high school students can attend the Club during late-starts as a “Thursday only member,” free-of-charge. All students who attend will need a parent-signed release on file however. This release will be available during online registration in July.
How does breakfast work?
All students who are at the Club by 8:15 am are provided a light breakfast. Berlin Area School District food service staff will be managing the breakfast and students will be charged as though they were eating at school. All students who are eligible for free and reduced lunch will not be charged, all other students will be charged $1.00 per breakfast and the amount will be deducted from their lunch account at school.
What if I want to drop my child at the Club?
You are welcome to drive your child to the club any time between 7:30 and 8:35 am to receive enrichment programming and then catch the bus to school. Students must be at the Club by 8:15 am in order to be able to eat breakfast however.
What other schools use a late start schedule?
Ripon and Omro are two local districts who also use a late-start model. Many other districts in the state do as well.
What if I have additional questions?
All additional questions about late start details can be directed to Carrie McCarthy, Family and Community Partnership Coordinator 920-361-5458 or firstname.lastname@example.org.