Comparing PBC school day hours, use of iReady, planning time, more

School districts have many strategies at their disposal when it comes to delivering an education, including how many hours a day school is open, what opportunities teachers are given to plan and collaborate and teaching tools and time dedicated to reading.

This afternoon at a workshop,  the Palm Beach County School Board will get an overview of how this county stacks up against three other urban Florida districts.

To hit some highlights:

Hours in the day

Palm Beach County’s public school day is longer in elementary grades at 6 hours and 5 minutes than those in Broward, but some 10 minutes shorter than in Orange County.  (Just this summer, Superintendent Robert Avossa told the school board that they were researching the possibility of adding another half hour in hopes that it would improve student performance.)

Early release days

The public schools here have five to six early release days, while Broward has six and Orange takes an hour on Wednesdays (this is an update from information the district posted Wednesday morning).

PLCs

These are the planning collaboration periods for teachers. Palm Beach County staff described this as ‘recommended but not required’ in this county – the same as all but Orange County, where it is required. (While district administration doesn’t require it, certain teachers have said they feel compelled to go despite the semantics.)

iReady? 

This is the adaptive computer software the district invested $5.6 million to expand from 33 elementary schools to all of them this fall.( Not all parents or teachers have embraced the adoption, however. )

The district requires students from kindergarten through fifth grade to complete 90 minutes a week of iReady math and language lessons. By the chart, so too does Miami-Dade. Only some schools in Broward commit to 45 minutes – unclear if that’s math, reading or both. Orange county does not required it.

Here’s the chart in its entirety: 

 

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