Lack of Planning Leads to Schedule Change


Kalea Hoffner

AHS students wait in long lines as a result of the schedule change that shortened lunch.

During the week of February 6, the ASD school board implemented a new daily class schedule at AHS designed to make up for the deficit in instructional minutes.

As of Feb. 23, ASD has had a total of two snow days, four late starts, one day without school on account of a potential gas leak, and one day without school due to a lockdown. According to the CDE (Colorado Department of Education), the minimum number of instructional minutes mandated by the state is 1080. Prior to the schedule change, AHS was just barely meeting this requirement. The schedule change was a result of the lack of snow days planned into the schedule and numerous late starts. In previous years, when school started at 8:00 AM, the length of the day was seven hours and 20 minutes. The transition to staggered start times between AES and AHS shortened the school day to just seven hours of school each day.

Sarah Strassburger, principal of AHS, further explains how a buildup of events contributed to the lack of instructional minutes.

“When we went to that split bus schedule, we truly lost 15-20 minutes every single day of instruction,” Strassburger said, “When we did this schedule, we were already at the minimum, and then you have the gas leaks, the late starts, the snow days, so then we weren’t compliant.”

The school board considered several other options when discussing how to make up for the lack of instructional minutes but ultimately determined that adding minutes to SET would be most effective.

“We talked about adding minutes to the end of the day, but the ripple effect of sports was too much, and there was nothing we could do at the beginning of the day because of the split bus run,” Strassburger said, “This was the best choice, the easiest, where we still get instructional time and I will say that kids had been asking for longer SET this year.”

In the future, the administration hopes to prevent schedule alterations midway through the year. Tharyn Mulberry, the Assistant Superintendent of AHS, is preparing for extra time to be built into the school year schedule in order to accommodate unexpected events that cancel school.
“I think the big thing is to make sure that the date, the length of the day, is similar to what we had, at least seven hours and 30 minutes, making sure that any school calendar that we approve has all this time built into it,” Mulberry said.