Krista Johnson Montgomery Advertiser Published 2:49 PM EST Jan 26, 2019 Ken Spear makes sure to keep the Keurig in his Sidney Lanier High School classroom fully stocked for his first period students – he knows mornings can be rough on them. Pointing to research that says teenage bodies need more sleep than their younger peers or adults, Spear said Lanier’s 7:30 a.m. start time is truly too early. But a sleepy class is not the biggest challenge Spear faces. His school is labeled “failing,” and it received a D on the state’s report card, which evaluates a variety of areas. In chronic absenteeism, 35 percent of Lanier’s students missed more than 15 days of school in one year – higher than all other traditional high schools. Spear believes making changes like later start times could improve that score, which is one thing that excites him about the upcoming conversion of Lanier into a charter school. With fewer schools, the charter system’s governing board can, in theory, make quicker, more individual changes. But, like several other teachers in the four Montgomery public schools slated for conversion, he is still very wary of the plan and has questions about how it will work. More: Tumbling down: With… Read full this story
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