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Delayed entry Wednesdays are here to stay

May 12, 2010
The School Board has permanently approved the continuation of delayed entry Wednesdays for Gilford High School's 2010-2011 school year and beyond.

At the School Board meeting May 3, GHS Principal Ken Wiswell said that the implement of the delayed entry Wednesday program during the 2009-2010 school year provided the faculty with "invaluable" time to collaborate, engage in professional learning and ultimately improve student learning.

Superintendent Paul DeMinico added that the parent advisory group "couldn't say enough about program."

Although the board gave the go ahead for 24 delayed entries next school year and decided to permanently approve the program, DeMinico said the board would deal with issues as they pop up rather than approving the program on a yearly basis.

"We have made great strides in improving our curriculum, instruction and assessment, but there is much more work to be done in each of these areas," said Wiswell in a request addressed to the board. "Our departments are becoming increasingly more adept at working in unison…we have eliminated the existence of 'lone rangers' (in terms of grading standards)."

Wiswell informed the board that conversations and ideas started out slow but were also "rich" and became more consistent throughout the year.

"Next year, we may ask for a school wide philosophy," said Wiswell.

School Board Chairman Kurt Webber said that a school wide philosophy in some areas of study may prove to be a challenge, and suggested considering daily assessments in the classroom and maintaining tools, such as Edline, to help achieve this.

Webber asked if delayed entry Wednesdays have posed a problem with students and faculty either showing up too early or late, especially in terms of students who might have slept in too late.

At the beginning of the school year, Wiswell said this seemed to be more of a problem, although 10 or so students still tend to stop into school earlier on here and there. He said that a few substitute bus drivers had to ease into their new routes, yet most of the problems have fizzled out.

In this past school year's first trimester, Wiswell said faculty collaborated and focused on consistency and equity in grading policies within each department. He said that eventually, he would like to turn department policies into a single, school wide policy along with department wide rubrics. Along with this, the focus may also turn to ungraded formative assessments and professional development in writing common assessments in the future.

In the second trimester, faculty focused on instructional practices during delayed entry Wednesdays, said Wiswell, along with reviews of research supported instructional strategies that may lead to reproducing methodologies that "generate high student engagement and student achievement." In other words, this means fewer lectures and more action.

In the third and final trimester, Wiswell said faculty is currently working on reviewing and revising course competencies.

Wiswell added that during each trimester, delayed entry time is also set aside for grade level discussions on ways to help straying students get back on track.

Klumb Environmenta;
Varney Smith
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