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Dubuque Parents Dealing with New Late Arrival Schedule

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DUBUQUE, Iowa – Parents in Dubuque dealt with the first of scheduled weekly late arrivals.

The one hour late starts are scheduled to happen every Friday throughout the year.

The state of Iowa requires all teachers to take part in a total of 36 hours of professional development each school year. It’s up to each school district to figure out how to schedule those training hours. Dubuque chose Friday morning meetings.

Carver Elementary School Parent David Littlewood said, “For us as parents it’s a real pain and I really want to know what the benefit to the cost is. And I’d rather just stay to a straight schedule.”

During that one hour late arrival teachers are taking part in professional development.

For $3.65 per hour the Dubuque Community YMCA offers before school care at 13 elementary schools. They’ve hired more staff to meet the increase of students on Friday mornings.

Dubuque Community Y Assistant Director Scott Earl, “We are making changes to the curriculum. There’s an extra hour so we have to add more activities. We have to make sure it’s not just down time for the kids. “

Holy Family Catholic School Students started the school day at 7:40 a.m. That is their regular time. The Holy Family School Board opted not to follow the public schools late arrival schedule.

“We realized it would pose great difficulty to our parents to have to find care our students for that hour every Friday,” said Chief Administrator Carol Trueg.

But the board’s decision created a challenge for some Holy Family parents. Holy Family Schools use Dubuque Community School buses to transport students. Now on Friday mornings the buses run one hour later than the Catholic students need to be to class.

Trueg said, “I am so pleased with our parents. They found ways to make this work. Knowing we’re providing more instructional time for their kids.”

Teachers in the Catholic Schools found other ways to fulfill the state’s required hours of professional development time.

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