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York elementary school days could be extended

York school board considers whether to add six minutes to elementary schools.

York County elementary school days could be lengthened by six minutes next year and middle school teachers could be required to teach students for an additional eight hours a course after regular school hours to have "banked" time for snow days. High schools, which are on a seven class-period schedule, wouldn't have to make changes. This year the division added 20 minutes to many schools' days because of snow.

"I don't like to have to go back after the weather and scurry and try to find the time to get to the end of the school year," said school board member Barbara S. Haywood at Monday's work session. "That's just another disaster waiting to happen. I would like to see something built in."

Chairman Mark Medford suggested they add five minutes to the beginning of the elementary school day and one to the end so they would have a total of 6.41 days beyond state requirements.

At the middle schools, six grade students won't need additional banked time because they have a 90-minute English classes that give them more than enough core-class hours, said Stephanie Guy, the division's chief academic officer. Seventh and eighth grade students don't have 90-minute English classes so she proposed an additional eight hours of "blended-learning" per course, which could be a blog-post or an online math tutorial. The division is scheduled to give the board more details at a May meeting.

Somers can be reached by phone at 757-298-5176.

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