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The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

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Monday is first of six annual ‘late start’ days

Deanna Chute, teacher on Special Assignment and member of California’s Multi-Tiered System of Support discusses the overall goal of further collaboration between teachers. “The staff is already working on some long-term collaboration goals,”Chute said.”Monday is just the culmination of what we’ve been working on for the past four weeks.” (Photo: Joshua Watterson)

In a new initiative to increase collaboration between teachers and foster improvement within the Palo Alto Unified School District, six Mondays of the school year—starting with this Monday—will shift start times for students from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. lowering class times to 30 minutes instead of 45.

Principal Brent Kline said that the shift will be a chance for teachers to work in the early mornings to improve their curriculum and work with other teachers.

“It [the new schedule] is an opportunity for teachers to be able to spend time to align their curriculum and their courses, and learn from each other,” Kline said. “A lot of that work will be focused on the teams that we call professional learning communities, where teachers have like content areas, [to] discuss what they’re teaching.”

President of the Palo Alto Unified School District Board of Education, Jennifer Dibrienza said that the shift will have positive implications for students as it allows for better preparedness from their teachers.

“It [the new schedule] benefits the students because it gives the teachers more time to do their preparation and their training,” Dibrienza said. “There’s always more for teachers to do, so if we can block out some time for the teachers to accomplish the many myriad of things they are asked to do, it benefits the teachers, but it also, in turn, benefits the students.”

Freshman World History and Psychology teacher Daniel Shelton explained how the teachers plan to fill the extra hour.

“It’s structured time that we have with our course partners,” Shelton said. “For our first one [late start Monday], we already have an assignment that we’ve been working on together, so it’s not open free time.”

Senior Johann Garcia said that he’s looking forward to the extra time the hour will provide.

“I’m excited for it because the times are like how they were during virtual learning,” Garcia said. “I liked starting at 10 a.m.”

Dibrienza emphasized that these changes are the possible first of many as PAUSD hones in on its “PAUSD promise”- a district-wide set of goals under Superintendent Don Austin, including; Serving and celebrating others, Mental Health and Wellness, Early Literacy, Equity, and Excellence, and Innovation, all of which can be found on the PAUSD website.

“We have the PAUSD Promise, and the promise is five main goals that we really are focused on this year,” Dibrienza said. “They take a lot of effort from everybody up and down the system, but most directly from our staff, right from the people that are in the classroom during the work. We want to make sure we give them the time to be prepared to do them [the promise] as well.”

The current released late starts are on Sept. 18, Oct. 16, and Nov. 13.

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Saanvi Garg, Reporter

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