Granite City Senior High School will start each week with an hour of staff development. Students get to sleep in and recover a bit from the weekend, but school leaders say that is not the intent even though studies indicate that a later start time cuts tardies, absences and generally makes for a more rested student body.
But you’ve gotta wonder, especially when this isn’t planned for first thing Wednesday mornings, when maybe the teachers will be a little brighter eyed and have their tails better bushed.
It is a concern that staff development is cutting into class time. The regular class time of 55 minutes will be cut to 42 minutes. Superintendent Jim Greenwald said, “We don’t believe that will make much difference.”
Forgive us for rounding, but losing one-fourth of every class period does seem like it will make a difference. Losing all that time to gain an hour of staff development seems like a poor trade.
Plus, despite Greenwald’s description of the staff development hour as “extremely structured,” leaving it up to each department to come up with training ideas seems rather loosey-goosey. It would be more reassuring that this is other than a ploy to let kids sleep in if we saw each department’s training planner for the next few months, just like some teachers post their lesson plans.
Staff development is a good thing, but let’s hope it doesn’t come at the cost of student development.