It is important to note that the School Committee has no plans – and has never proposed – to take away any of the contractual individual prep and planning time currently used by teachers. Elementary classroom teachers currently have access to significant time during the school day over and above the contractual individual prep and planning time.
The time available for prep and planning has exceeded the contractual time for years and will continue to. The School Committee recognizes and respects the need for individual prep and planning time as well as collaborative time for educator teams.
To further demonstrate its strong interest in getting to an agreement, the School Committee has offered to codify an increase to the contractually required minimum individual prep and planning time for elementary classroom teachers from 120 minutes a week to 150 minutes a week.
These figures are for individual prep and planning time only; there is also additional time for collaboration built into the schedule. We believe in the power of collaborative time and that it serves the students tremendously. The Committee agrees with the WEA that there is an inequity in preparation time between general education and special education, and has agreed to a 60-minute testing block to help remedy this.
The School Committee also believes that it is essential to maintain flexibility and discretion to manage schedules in a manner that best serves the needs of all students.