Early release, new field on district agenda

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By SCOTT PESZNECKER

Early release days for students of the Mark Twain Union School District and a new field for Copperopolis Elementary School could be approved by the district board tomorrow night.

At last month's school board meeting in Copperopolis, board members supported a proposal to make every Monday a "minimum day." Board members will vote on whether to implement the proposal at tomorrow's 6:30 p.m. meeting.

A minimum day cuts about two hours from class time. It's necessary, school officials said, to give teachers more time to prepare for classes.

The new schedule could be activated later this month and carry into next school year, district Superintendent Rick Brewer has said.

Most audience members supported the early release proposal.

Teachers at the meeting also favored the idea.

The one audience question nobody could put to rest was about day care in Copperopolis.

Mark Twain Union Elementary School in Angels Camp provides afternoon day care for its students via a county program, which costs parents a couple of dollars each day. The program was available to Copperopolis parents until this year, but Copper lost its county-subsidized day care because not enough students used it.

Tidball has said the district might organize day care for Copperopolis, but parents would have to pay more to make the program self-sufficient.

The proposed minimum day schedule would follow the rules of other minimum days during the school year. School for Copperopolis students would end at 12:30 p.m., and for Mark Twain at 12:50 p.m.

If the proposed schedule is approved, 20 minimum days would be added to the eight already in place at each school.

Mondays are the primary choice to be reduced to minimum days, Brewer said. Students already miss more school on Mondays than on other days because of holidays.

Brewer also said the district would still meet state classroom minutes-per-year mandates.

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