PLC Mondays: Anchorage students to start an hour later every Monday


As students return to school this month in Anchorage, they will have one hour a week less of instructional time so teachers can take part in what is called Professional Learning Communities, an hour a week when teachers can collaborate and adjust their approach to individual student needs.

Since 2016, the late Monday late start was only in effect for high schools. This year, schools for all grades will start one hour later every Monday.

The Mat-Su Borough School District began observing the PLC Monday schedule last year for all grades.

“Providing this consistent professional development and collaboration time is a valuable tool that will help teachers and school staff support and adjust to student learning needs. We believe that the hour dedicated to teacher learning and collaboration on Mondays will move the needle for student achievement and greatly benefit all ASD students. PLCs equals improved classroom experiences, which leads to better student outcomes,” the district explains on its website.

“Professional Learning Communities (PLC) is a research-based collaborative structure used by educators to continuously learn, improve, and adapt teaching methods to help improve student outcomes. ASD will be implementing this weekly 1 hour structure which will support the District’s Board goals around Reading, Math, and College, Career, and Life Readiness,” the district says.

Bus transportation will start one hour later on Mondays only. School will end at the regular time. Parents will also be allowed to drop their students off at the regular start time, and as teachers participate in professional development, other staff members will be made available to supervise early-arriving students.

Before adopting PLC Monday, the Anchorage School District hosted focus groups, numerous interviews with appropriate medical professionals, three community town hall meetings, and a survey that received 9,926 responses.  The results supported the board’s vote in moving to a different school start time model, according to the school district.

In Anchorage, school begins on Aug. 17, with pre-K and kindergarten beginning on Aug. 24.

On Mondays, elementary schools will start at 10 am and release at 3:30 pm, middle schools will start at 9:15 am and release at 2:45 pm, and high schools will start at 8:30 am and release at 2 pm.

In the Mat-Su Borough, school begins on Aug. 15, with most schools observing the PLC Monday start time of 10:15 am and release time of 3:45 pm.

It is unclear how these school districts make up the requirements to teach the state’s minimum required 180 days of instruction. One hour a week over the course of the year can add up. For Anchorage, the 16 Mondays that will have an hour subtracted from learning time adds up to 16 hours less instruction between Aug 17 and winter break. Another 15 hours of instruction are lost between winter break and the end of the school year, for a total of over 30 hours of lost instructional time.

Add that to the snow days that occur each year and there may be several days that must be made up at the end of the school year.


  1. Few people today enjoy going to work let alone making their time a full day of work at 8hrs. Teachers technically already are part-time. Three and half hours isn’t enough time to work. The extra hour for teacher collaboration won’t do anything more for the students while the younger grades stay in before school care longer and for some almost 3 hours long. What do the tweens, jr high, and high schoolers do cause they are too old for a babysitter.

  2. For parents and grandparents more aware and more involved in their child’s life. be a good time to check out the endless different types of online homeschooling. They’re even online private schools. Then there are private local tutors a parent can pay for helping them out in helping the child understand something they can’t teach well. You know there is a lot our 9-14 year olds are capable of learning or capable understanding if parents and grandparents don’t “baby” them still treating them like they can’t do. You just have to start the training that develops a more responsible adolescent at the time the infant moves into crawl stage. An adolescent or jr higher (12-14) who learned how to follow a homeschooling schedule with and without adult supervision will make a better employee one day.

  3. This is what teacher’s unions do – make life easier for teachers. Is this a good thing? Maybe, but it should not come at the expense of less classroom time. Back when I was in grade school, teachers were expected to be in the classroom from 7:00AM to 4:00PM – they ate lunch when the students ate, and teachers’ meetings and parent conferences were afterward… Like a regular workday for most of us. Teachers back then did just fine, though there was a tendency to underpay them until they had ten or more years experience. Guess what? Test scores were higher back then too, and kids were better prepared for their futures – be it trades or college.

  4. It’s only useful if they learn something useful. Give their track record, it’s doubtful.

  5. This will really prepare them for the real world and employment. They will just stay up an hour later or more with that hour later start time. Plus I did not realize that they were losing an hour a week of learning because of teachers taking part in Professional Learning Communities, an hour a week when teachers can collaborate and adjust their approach to individual student needs. Teach the kids the required hours of education not less. Make it up somewhere.

    • Charter schools or home schooling. Time for the dinosaur, public education to become extinct. Our public servants are the largest socialized welfare system in the world, and we let them unionize? 🫣

      • The dinosaurs will stomp out any successful charter school or homeschool options. Just look at FPCS in Anchorage…. oldest, largest and most successful charter school in Anchorage, nationally recognized, and yet, canceled by ASD through a web of lies and deception fueled by a woke school board’s jealousy. Besides, PLC is often carefully controlled by domineering principals. PLC : Promoting Love for Communism

  6. And yet with all of these new and improved ‘teaching structures’, our students continue to fall behind both national and historical standards, and their actual education continues to degrade.

    There is that society-wide creeping incompetence once again.

  7. Let me see if I have this right.
    I pay taxes for the schools under the belief that the schools will actually teach the children something, but now, I am getting one less hour of instruction so the teachers can… collaborate?
    I want to witness these collaboration sessions. Not kidding, they should be broadcast via the ‘net. I have a very strong suspicion it will not have much collaboration, and a lot of sitting around drinking coffee and bitching about the kids.
    Prove me wrong ASD, broadcast the collaboration sessions.

  8. This is an absolute waste, does the school district realize or care that we the parents have jobs to go to as well?

  9. I can’t help it; I’m proud of how the Mat-Su Borough handled school throughout the pandemic and has pushed to make sure students are learning the basics. It’s very rewarding to work w/students and actually see them learning. Our 1st-graders can read.

  10. Unbelievable 4.5 hours of actual education.
    5.5 minus 1/2 hour lunch and two recess periods of 15 minutes.
    Can you imagine any other job where you work for literally half a day and recieve full pay and benefits?
    Vouchers now. No wonder why Johnnie can’t read at grade level.

  11. Another hidden tax on working parents. This is going to cost them plenty in lost work time. This is government waste impacting working Alaskans for ZERO net benefit for those people paying the bills.

  12. Honest question…

    Why cannot the teachers simply come in an hour early each Monday to achieve the same thing?

    Seems the resultant effected teachers would be far less disruptive than the resultant effected students and their families, no?

    • That is to simple Randy. It does no involve chaos and instability in the parent and childs life. Next thing in that one hour the children will be sat for drag queen shows

  13. We pulled our two kids out of ASD three times.

    The first time during the early elementary years when they were in 1st and 3rd grades. Upon arrival at their new school, No-Child-Left-Behind testing showed that they were a year behind the rest of the nation. Less than a year later we returned to Anchorage. They were tested again and found they had moved ahead of their classmates.

    The second time around was during their middle school years when we traveled for the entire school year. We homeschooled both of them (with paper schoolbooks) 4 hours a day for 4 days a week. When we returned they were two years ahead of their classmates.

    The third time, a few years later, was for good. ASD had turned into a gong show with teachers stripping to show off their tattoos to 7th-graders, instructing them not to join the Army or Marines because they don’t take off their people (??) and telling kids they may be gay and should try it to determine if they actually are gay. Needless to say, both of my kids spent their high school years Outside. Was it perfect? No. Was it costly? Yes. Was it worth it? Hell yes.

    ASD, along with most of Anchorage’s government organizations, needs to be gutted. Start by cutting off the head of the snake – start with the school board and the teachers’ union.

  14. Incredible amount of whining going on here.
    At least the district is trying something different for a change

  15. And lets not forget this years school schedule allows for 36 school days in which teachers either have no kids at school (ie, “professional development days”, holidays, spring break, etc.) as well as weekends, sick days and I believe they are allowed “stress” days, etc.. As they say, those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.

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