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Action Item
DATE: Tuesday, November 14, 2017
TO: School Board Members
FROM: Jeff Eakins, Superintendent
Approve Variations from the Approved ERT 2017-2018 Extended Reading Time (ERT) Bell Schedules
Following the board's approval of the 2017-2018 ERT Bell schedules on August 1, 2017, two schools have requested approval of slightly different bell schedules to optimize site-based learning conditions.  Under the approved schedule, all ERT schools begin their academic day (Monday-Friday) at 7:45 a.m.  To ensure compliance with state requirements for ERT, the approved schedule created split dismissals for these schools.  Specifically, K-3 students at ERT schools dismiss at 1:15 p.m. on Monday and 2:25 p.m. on Tuesday through Friday.  Students in 4th and 5th grade at ERT schools dismiss at 3:20 p.m. on Monday and 2:25 p.m. on Tuesday through Friday.

Among the 37 ERT schools this year, one variation from this schedule was approved at Mort Elementary School in the original agenda item from August 2017.  Following this, both Booker T. Washington (BTW) Elementary School and Miles Elementary School are also seeking approval to modify the approved ERT schedule at their sites.

The variation requested at BTW would be to begin the day at 7:40 a.m. Monday through Friday, which is five minutes earlier than the approved ERT schedule.  Additionally, BTW would like to revert to a uniform dismissal on Mondays at 1:15 p.m. and a 2:25 p.m. dismissal on Tuesday through Friday.  If approved, this schedule will meet the state requirements for ERT and can be accommodated by the Transportation Department.

The variation requested at Miles would be to begin the day at 7:45 a.m. on Monday through Friday, but implement a uniform dismissal of 1:15 p.m. on Mondays and 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday through Friday.  If approved, this schedule will meet the state requirements for ERT and can be accommodated by the Transportation Department.  Both of these schools have asked for consideration of these requests to implement a schedule that is more efficient for the school.
• Provide a student-centered learning environment that engages every child • Continuously improve processes and systems
Approval of these modified ERT schedules for 2017-2018 does not represent any additional financial impact to the district beyond the costs of ERT implementation previously approved.  Funding for the ERT program comes from two Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP) sources.  This includes the Supplemental Academic Instruction (SAI) Categorical and the Reading Instruction Categorical.  Preliminary expenditure estimates total $9.2 million.  $8.7 million will cover the instructional and instructional support expenses at the 37 named elementary schools and $500,000 will be used for the extra transportation costs needed to cover the routes.
This year, schools were encouraged to act autonomously to implement schedules that were ideal for their students and their school circumstances.  There have been some challenges in managing the fidelity of ERT implementation as a result of this autonomy.  A fortunate consequence of the new bell schedule is that it allows us to optimize ERT implementation for 2018-2019 by establishing a common ERT schedule for schools that must implement ERT.  This consistency in scheduling will allow all ERT schools to implement programs that support literacy sooner and eliminate some of the confusion caused by split dismissals and unique schedules next year.  As a result, fewer schools are expected to request variations from the ERT schedule in the 2018-2019 school year.
Christopher Farkas   Dr. Alberto Vázquez
Chief Operating Officer
(813) 272-4004
  Chief of Staff
(813) 272-4986
    C 7.08
Hillsborough County Public Schools (Florida) * Mtg.#20171114_823 (Reorganization/Board Meeting) * Section C Item# 7.08