Longer School Day Possible For Edmond Students

Tuesday, August 9th 2011, 8:30 pm
By: News 9

Dana Hertneky, News 9

EDMOND, Oklahoma -- Back to school may mean waking up earlier and staying in class later for some metro students.

School leaders say they learned their lesson after last winter's blizzard kept students in school later in the year and they want to take precautions early.

Administrators and the Edmond school board are in support of the proposal which would add ten minutes to both the beginning and the end of the school day.

Now teachers must vote. If they approve it next Monday, students will go to school 100 minutes more every week.

Eight missed days because of snow last year left schools scrambling to make up state mandated hours.

"Last year's imposition upon parents and the community and teachers with the excessive number of snow days helped to move forward an item of discussion for a number of years," said Edmond Superintendent David Goin, Ed.D.

The new schedule would be the equivalent of adding nine days. It would provide a cushion in case of another bad winter, otherwise, it would just mean more learning time.

"We think on par this is a positive change for students and will be a more stabilizing factor for the school year," said Dr. Goin.

Some parents, we caught up with buying school supplies, agree.

"I would much rather do it throughout the school year then make it up at the end," said Alison Grimes, an Edmond parent.

But at least one student says it will never work.

"I would not be there, I'm not even on time now," said Alexa Baldini.

And other parents argue adding two or three minutes to every class period will not result in any more learning.

"That short amount of time, I don't know that it would benefit that much," said Amy Cullen.

In addition, some worry, the longer day will just tire students out both in class and out.

"We have things we like to do as a family and that I want to teach her and I fear she's going to be tireder and less receptive to those things and it's not as conducive to our family as well," argued Sherry White.

If the teachers agree to the longer day, the new calendar will take effect the Wednesday students come back from Labor day weekend.

District leaders tell us if the extended school day is approved, the calendar for the last day of school will not change. If there are no snow days the last day will be Wednesday, May 23, 2012.  If one snow day is used, the last day will be Thursday, May 24.  If two to 11 snow days are used, the last day of class will be Friday, May 25.