Snow storms may stretch District school hours
Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee is considering extending the school day as a way of making up for the four-and-a-half days of instructional time lost to the record-breaking snow this month.
Spokeswoman Jennifer Calloway said no decisions have been made, but that stretching the school day -- which currently runs from 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. -- might be part of the make-up schedule DCPS is expected to release next week. Calloway said the District was "considering all options including converting non-student days into instructional days and adding time to the school day."
Calloway said the District is also in discussions with D.C. State Superintendent of Education Kerri Briggs about adjusting the administration of the DC-CAS standardized tests, now set for the last two weeks of April.
Adding time to the school day would require clearing several hurdles, including union cooperation and rearranging transportation for special education students. If officials decided to extend the end of the day, afterschool activities would also have to be adjusted.
DCPS already has two days on its 182-day calendar set aside to make up for lost time -- June 21 and 22 -- the Monday and Tuesday after the last scheduled day of classes. Using those would be about as popular as a root canal, and teachers often say that the deeper into June the school year goes, the less productive it becomes.
Beyond that, there are limited opportunities for converting "non-student days," unless the District cut into the March 29-April 5 spring break, another move that would be deeply unpopular. March 1 and May 17 are parent conference days; March 19 is a professional development day for teachers. March 26 and June 18 are scheduled as half-days right now--one preceding spring break the other before summer break.
What do you think they should do?
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