School an hour longer after next week

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PARIS — The Education Commissioner has approved a request by SAD 17 to extend the school day by one hour during a two-week period, beginning April 23, to make up some of the nine snow days, the district has experienced this year.

Superintendent Rick Colpitts told the Board of Directors at its April 2 meeting that despite some hesitancy on his part to implement the pilot program, it will begin following April vacation.

The move will make up two snow days.

“The Commissioner has approved the one-hour extended day, so we are proceeding with that for two weeks following vacation. I know that it is subject to some review among parents and there’s probably half or more of parents that hate it and another group of high school/middle parents that find it pretty palatable.”

Colpitts said a survey of all parents will be done following the two-week period to collect information about the short-term pilot program that will help determine whether is a move that the district should consider in the future to make up snow days.

“To be honest it’s something I’m really hesitant about,” he told the board.

The Board voted at its March 19 meeting to request of the Commissioner of Education permission to extend the regular school day by one hour for two weeks, beginning April 23 and ending May 4. The regular existing school day will simply be extended by one hour during those two weeks.

A waiver was necessary from the state to take the action.

According to information from Colpitts’ office, the extended day will mean middle and high school students will be dismissed at 2:52 p.m. everyday except on Wednesdays. On Wednesdays, a half day each week,  students will be dismissed at 1:52 p.m.

Colpitts said elementary school dismissal times vary slightly around the district but in general students will be dismissed around 4:05 p.m. everyday except for Wednesdays. On Wednesdays, elementary students will dismissed around 3:05 p.m.

The schedule will go back to normal at the end of the two-week period.

Students recently attended school on a workshop day to make up a full snow day.

ldixon@sunmediagroup.net