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Teachers Gain Time to Plan, Personalize Instruction Under New Elementary-School Schedule

The Canyons Board of Education approved a new elementary-school schedule that will give kindergarten through fifth-grade teachers more planning time. 

The new schedule brings planning time closer to the standard at neighboring school districts, providing elementary teachers a dedicated period during the workday to prepare lessons, review student work and data, and personalize instruction. It aims to benefit students and mitigate teacher burnout. 

“The impact that quality planning and collaboration time has on our students is crucial,” noted Lone Peak Elementary Principal Tracy Stacy in comments preceding the Board’s Feb. 20, 2024 vote. “When teachers have time to plan and collaborate with their colleagues, students benefit from richer and more engaging lessons that meet their needs.”

Starting in August 2024, elementary teachers will have 60 minutes of dedicated planning time each day, Monday through Thursday. This is an increase of 120 minutes per week for a total of 280 weekly planning minutes, including Fridays. Previously, CSD’s elementary teachers had significantly less time than their middle and high school counterparts as well as their peers in other Utah school districts.

To give teachers prep time while still preserving instructional time for students, 10 minutes will be added to the elementary school day, Monday through Thursday. Friday’s schedule will not change. 

More information about how this will affect bell schedules and bus routes is forthcoming as schools and CSD’s Transportation Department works through scheduling details. 

The new schedule will also require a $1.2 million investment in additional Brain Booster time for arts, STEM, Playworks and library instruction. Brain Boosters classes will run for 45 minutes.

Moving forward, the Board committed to monitor how the new schedule impacts Brain Booster technicians and Beverly Taylor Sorensen Arts teachers to determine if adjustments are needed.

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Lucie Chamberlain

Alta View Elementary

If a movie about super teachers were ever made, Lucie Chamberlain would be a prime candidate for a leading role. Fortunately for her kindergarten students at Alta View Elementary, she already thrives in a supporting role for them. Parents thank her for being a “super teacher.” She is also described as an “amazing colleague.” Whether students need help in the classroom or from home while sick, Lucie goes above and beyond to help them learn, overcome fears, and feel important and cared for. Lucie is the reason a number of kids went from hating school to loving it, according to parents. The way she exudes patience, sweetness, positive energy, and love for her students with special needs melts is appreciated and admired. One parent noted: “Both my kids wish she could be their teacher forever.” Another added:  “She treats every student like their learning and their feelings are her priority.” Super teacher, indeed!

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