The Washington School Board unanimously voted Thursday to extend the school day for three weeks to make up for snow days.
Starting Monday, Washington students will have school starting at 7:40 a.m. for the high school and 7:50 a.m. for the elementary school.
School will then end at 3:40 p.m. for elementary students and 3:55 p.m. at the junior and senior high schools. The extended days will last until March 18, weather permitting. Good Friday on April 18, usually a holiday for Washington schools, will also be used for a makeup day.
Superintendent Daniel Roach told board members the extended days will make up three snow days and keep Washington schools back on a dismissal date of May 23. Without the hours, school would have ended on May 30, provided there aren't any more snow days.
Much of the extra time, Roach said, will be used for preparation for upcoming I-READ3, ISTEP and end-of-course assessment testing.
"We have not had a solid week since going on four months," Roach said. "It's just been an unusual year."
If there is a delay for weather, Roach said, school would be on a normal schedule that day but an extra extended day would have to be added.
"We know from even a couple days ago, we can't seem to get a break with what is happening this year," Roach said.
A phone survey was sent to Washington school parents and staff members. According to numbers from the school, 1,098 people participated in the survey, 71 percent of those surveyed were parents. Of those surveyed, 76 percent were in favor of using extended school days and the Good Friday holiday.
Board members conceded Thursday it was a tough decision to make.
"There's no easy answer for it," Board President Steve Frette said.