The Washington Times-Herald

Local News

February 22, 2014

Reaction to extended days mixed

The reaction to the Washington School Board’s decision to extend school days by an hour for three weeks has been mixed.

And, judging by the opinions submitted to the Times Herald and comments on the Times Herald’s Facebook page, there are many upset with the decision.

Thursday, the board voted to extend school days from 7:40 a.m. to 3:55 p.m. in the high school, and 7:50 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. in the elementary school.

The extended days begin Monday and last until March 18. By taking this action, and using Good Friday as a school day, it will keep Washington schools’ last day of school before Memorial Day.

Reaction when the decision was announced on social media by the Times Herald raised questions. The first question included how this will affect younger children in the elementary schools. Some parents have said their children will be too tired, or too hungry.

Washington Superintendent Daniel Roach said he heard about and thought about them as well before recommending the extended days to the board.

“Most of our student population is in the building at (7:40 a.m.),” Roach said. “Instead of making that down time, we will use it in the classroom.”

He went on to say some parents have reached out to principals at the elementary schools to donate snacks to the children.

Another question was an issue with the school’s automated call system. On Thursday, Roach said a majority of responding parents, 76 percent, preferred to use extended school hours. But many who replied to our Facebook posts said they did not receive a call.

“I didn’t receive a call,” Ximenia Castillo said.

According to school records, 50 percent of those called answered the message and took the survey. Roach said the school used primary point of contact numbers only and not secondary numbers, as shown in the school’s Harmony online data system.

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