CMS teachers, parents want bell schedule changed - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

CMS teachers, parents want bell schedule changed

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Teachers and parents are gearing up again for the fight to end late bell schedules for elementary schools. The late dismissal time has been in place for two years. Charlotte -Mecklenburg school board voted to have later bell times to save money so the district could double up on bus routes.

Parents didn't give up. They went back and did research to prove late bell schedules don't work. CMS parent Susan Plaza says late bell schedules are unfair to elementary school teachers.

"The burden for elementary school teachers," Plaza said. "Is pretty great comparatively. Elementary school teachers average between 30 and 45 minutes of planning per day. Middle and High school teachers 80 minutes to 90 per day."

And she claims it's unfair to the students.

"Now kindergartners our 5,6, and 7 year olds," Plaza said. "Spend 90 minutes more hours of instructional time in school than 18 year olds, so there is a large inequity now in the instructional time."

Plaza surveyed about 600 teachers asking them their thoughts about the late bell schedule. 500 teachers filled out the survey. Here's what some of them said.

"They're saying teachers can't stay after school for tutoring anymore," the parent said. "So kids who need tutoring, aren't getting it."

CMS teacher Jeff Brockman works at Montclaire Elementary school. He now gets out 45 minutes later and he says it is draining. He has signed up to address school board members at their Tuesday night meeting.

"I am concerned about staff morale," Brockman said. "And I've noticed over the past year, I haven't enjoyed my job as much. I don't know any teacher who likes it. It's just a long time to be with the younger kids"

Board members say it may be hard going back to the old bell schedules, but they want to find a common ground with upset parents and teachers.

"We want everyone to know that we are concerned about it, " said CMS Board Chair Mary McCray.

The district is busy this year looking for extra money to pay for technology.

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