SOCSD continues late start days

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Photo by James Durr

James Durr

The Jacket Nation held another late start day February 5 with a start time for students at 11:15 a.m. 

Darien Spann serves as the junior class principal.  

“Late start days were chosen over early release, because we have an agreement, of some sort, with the state department where we agreed on them giving us opportunities to try something other than early release, so our experience will help the state department see if other districts can do it,”  Spann said 

Starkville Oktibbeha School District is testing late start days instead of the traditional early release. Principal, Sean McDonnall, said there were a few hiccups with early release. 

Early release days were hard to make happen because there were so many afterschool activities that our teachers are involved in: coaches, clubs and things like that,” McDonnall said. 

Spann believes time-management is a large part of a high school student’s responsibilty when it comes to late start days. 

“The huge benefit [especially for those who work], is the responsibility of letting their employers know way ahead of time that these days are the days we have late start,” Spann said. 

He said students can benefit from the extra time given before school.So they know to be off on those days or be coming in late. Students in general use the time to get some studying before they get to school,” Spann said. 

Teachers used the extra time available in professional development.  

“From eight to 10:30 teachers are in professional development, and their professional development depends on what Mr. McDonnall and the administrative team decides needs to be done during that time, Spann said. 

The schedule was adjusted to fit the time change with classes beginning at 10:55 a.m. Classes were shortened to accommodate all four blocks. Third block remained the same in order to get all lunches in. Just because of a late start, that doesn’t mean students have the day off. Attendance is very important, especially on late start days, because it could affect grade and overall performance. 

Attendance is important, students need to be here. When you look at the data the more absences they have, the lower the grades are, the less successful students are, McDonnall said. 

While it is a struggle for parents with scheduling, the professional development the teachers get before school starts is more important  

“We understand that late start days are an inconvenience, but I think the professional development part of it far outweighs the inconvenience,McDonnall said.