nbDistrict 5 middle schools will observe a new schedule calling for early release and late start times several times a year if a recommendation proposed at Monday’s board meeting is adopted.

The plan is similar to the schedule that is already being followed by the district’s high schools and elementary schools.

Chapin Middle, Dutch Fork Middle and Irmo Middle schools would have one-hour late starts six days a year, which would be match the high school late-start days. Students at CrossRoads Middle and Chapin Intermediate, fifth- and sixth-graders, would follow the elementary early release schedule six days a year

The plan is designed to give teachers more time for collaboration and planning, according to Principals Gerald Gary of Dutch Fork Middle School and Jess Hutchinson of CrossRoads Middle School.

They said school improvement councils at the schools support the measure.

Board member Jan Hammond, a middle school teacher in Lexington District 2, said “time with peers” is very important to classroom teachers.

Superintendent Steve Hefner said the cost to the district is minimal and it would show respect for teacher collaboration.

Gary said there would be an impact on parents, but shouldn’t be difficult if they also have students at the high school or elementary level who are going in late or being released early.

Chief Instructional Officer Christina Melton said high schools use their late start hours differently, some for leadership programs and some for tutoring.

The board is expected to take action on the recommendation at the next board meeting.

In other action the board gave first reading to a $10 million 2015-2016 capital budget which allocates a major repairs and improvements to HVAC systems throughout the district.

The board also heard a report from facilities operations manager Scott Carlin, coordinator of facilities operations for the district, said\major improvements needed for the Chapin High School’s athletic stadium.

Carlin pointed out problems with deteriorating mortar joints, old bleaches on the visitor’s side, a dilapidated press box and a badly damaged concession stand.