September 16, 2014

SSC superintendent highlights new changes for school year

By Kevin Bunch
Staff Writer | news@arenacindependent.com
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STANDISH — A few small changes are planned for Standish-Sterling’s upcoming school year, according to Superintendent Darren Kroczaleski.

Among the most obvious of these changes are earlier school start times across all four district school buildings, he said, as they all start 10 minutes earlier.

The high school starts at 8:10 a.m. now, with the middle school at 8:05 a.m. and the two elementary schools starting at 7:55 a.m. All three schools will also end their school days 10 minutes earlier as well, Kroczaleski said.

Similarly bus transportation for students has been bumped up 10 minutes. Kroczaleski said one bus route had been cut due to the loss of students and the driver moving on. He said the routes had not changed drastically, so students should not be affected a great deal by the change.

Additionally, bus stops along Huron Road are now hazard light stops, which means motorists around the bus only need to stop if the bus starts flashing its hazard lights.

The district will also be offering two new AP courses for high school students this year: AP English and AP history, Kroczaleski said. The district already offered AP biology and AP calculus courses.

The AP classes will allow juniors and seniors aiming for college an opportunity to get a head start, earning college credit and getting the hang of the demands of college coursework, SSC counselor John McPherson told the Independent in April. They can also help students figure out their academic strengths, he said.

Kroczaleski said the school is continuing to implement its “common core” standards, teaching standards the school is expected to meet for each grade level under state guidelines.

New this year is an assessment test to be given out to students at the beginning, midpoint, and end of the year. Kroczaleski said the test was not very in-depth, but it would help teachers and administrators determine where students are strong and where they are weak academically.

“It’s a quick online assessment,” Kroczaleski said. “It will help in targeting where we need to work on.”

By having it at three points in the year, Kroczaleski said the school can track the progress of students as they learn more over the course of the school year.

“I’m looking forward to the school year,” he said. “And I’m looking forward to getting the students back in here.”

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