What Waterford has to Offer
What Waterford Has to Offer Key Notes:
The Waterford Board of Education has maintained small class sizes as a deliberate policy to improve student achievement in the early grades. Class sizes in Grades K-3 average 17 students per classroom. Grades 4 and 5 average approximately 20 students per classroom. Middle school academic classrooms average 22 students per class and high school academic classes average 19 students per classroom.
Elementary classrooms which exceed the desired number are often split into additional classes or a paraprofessional is hired to assist the teacher. Class size reduction has been undertaken as a local initiative and is not dependent on a federal grant to continue.
Professional Development/Tuition Reimbursement
Professional development for teachers in Waterford is a priority. It is offered in a number of ways:
New Teacher Orientation
A one-day new teacher orientation is held during the week prior to the start of school. Check out a sample agenda.
New Teacher Orientation
Waterford High School Media Center
Teacher Education and Mentoring (TEAM) Program
All teachers holding an Initial Educator or Temporary 90-day certificate are required to participate in the TEAM program. This program lasts for two years, during which time the teacher must attend workshops and develop a portfolio to be submitted to the State during the second year. Each teacher is assigned a mentor within the district to help with meeting the TEAM requirements.
Preparation and Planning Time
Preparation and planning time varies by level. Elementary teachers receive time during each day, when the children go to art, music, physical education (twice weekly) and library. Sometimes, due to scheduling, an elementary teacher may receive two planning periods one day and none the next. Additional planning time may also occur at other times during the day. Every effort is also made to give grade level teachers in a school common planning time during the week so that coordination time is available.
The middle and high school schedules are on an eight-period cycle. Middle school and high school teachers teach five of the eight periods. At the middle school, one period is used for FLEX period (a focused, small group), one period is used for a common team plan, and the other is a personal plan.
At the high school, two periods are used for personal planning and one is assigned as a duty (study hall, lunchroom, hallway).
School Year and School Day
Waterford's school year is up to 181 student days and 186 teacher work days. One teacher workday is the day immediately preceding the start of school in the fall, one is on Veterans' Day for parent/teacher conferences, and the other three are scheduled as professional development days. School generally begins the week prior to Labor Day and ends in mid to late June, depending on the number of snow days. There is a week's vacation time in December and April.
The school day for students is approximately six hours and forty-five minutes and the official workday for teachers is seven hours. School hours are as follows:
Elementary: 8:25 am to 3:10 pm