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School day to extend for some

School days will get longer next year for many Red Wing students.

Red Wing High School and Twin Bluff Middle School students will have their days extended by 14 and 12 minutes, respectively, Red Wing School Board members decided Monday.

In exchange for the longer days, students will be released two hours early seven times during the school year.

"We do realize that's a significant change," Supt. Stan Slessor said.

The change came at the request of district administrators who said the early release would allow educators time for staff development sessions.

District Instructional Services Director Kathy Radmer said the time will be "critical to where we want to move our staff and their ability to affect student learning."

That will mean an introduction into an educational approach known as formative assessment.

Red Wing High School Principal Beth Borgen said the approach is a break from traditional methods that assess learning from a postmortem standpoint.

And if the traditional approach is akin to an autopsy, Borgen said formative assessment is more like taking a temperature.

Administrators said learning the new approach will require extensive staff time.

"There's a tremendous amount of information we're going to have to do differently if we're going to have a different learning outcome," Radmer said.

School Board members were receptive but cautious of the plan. School Board member Paul Kramp praised the plan's collaborative approach, but said feedback is necessary.

He issued a successful motion to approve the 2009-10 school calendar, but not the 2010-11, as administrators had hoped.

The change will mean classes starting five minutes earlier in the morning and ending nine minutes later at the high school. At Twin Bluff, classes will begin five minutes earlier in the morning and end seven minutes later in the afternoon.

Borgen said the time extensions won't affect busing schedules.