1 Hour Has SF School Board At An Impasse
by Breanna Fuss, Reporter
October 02, 2013 9:07 PM
An hour might not seem like a lot of time, but for the Sioux Falls School Board it’s the center of a very spirited discussion. For nearly two decades, the ‘Supervision of Students’ policy has been in place. The policy allows teachers to have their own kids in the classroom before and after the school day. Since June, the school board has been looking to change the policy.
Sixty minutes, 3,600 seconds, or an hour, whichever way you look at it, that amount of time has the Sioux Falls School Board divided.
Sioux Falls School Board member Kent Alberty said, "It's a practice that we've had in place in the district for many, many years."
In 1996, the 'Supervision of Students' policy was put into place. New contracts this year extended the 'duty day' of a teacher until 4 p.m. That raised some concern because that means kids are sitting in their parent's classrooms during the work day.
"The rub seems to be coming from that hour after school when our teachers are on duty," Alberty said.
Alberty said he doesn't understand why that hour matters. That's why he doesn't approve of the new, revised policy, that has been proposed.
“Now we are either going to take that privilege away, or we are going to require them to pay $2.50 a day, per child to have them there," Alberty explained.
The proposed policy would require teachers to put their children in the district's Kid's Inc. Program, which serves as daycare. While Alberty finds the change wrong, president of the board Douglas Morrison finds it acceptable.
“We're trying to get a policy in there that meets the needs of as many people as we can," Morrison said.
Right now it is up to each school's principal on whether or not teachers can watch their kids. Morrison said the board needs to find a policy that can be implemented district-wide. That way it is fair for all teachers and there is a standard set in place.
Alberty said there hasn't been a problem in the past, therefore there's no need to fix something that isn't broken.
Wednesday school board members requested each principal’s opinion on the current policy, as well as the proposed new one. On Nov. 6, the board will have a second work session to continue discussions on this proposed policy change.