Middlebury students get longer school days

Elementary students will be in school 17 minutes longer for the rest of this year.

Posted on March 4, 2014 at 6:40 p.m.

Middlebury elementary students will make up snow days 17 minutes at a time.

Middlebury Community Schools is the second Elkhart County school district to announce a "longer school day" plan, after Concord came up with a similar plan Monday.

Elementary students will be in school for 17 minutes longer every day for the rest of the year starting Monday, March 10. The extra time will be added to the end of the day.

Middle and high school students will be in school 20 minutes longer. They will start school 10 minutes earlier and leave 10 minutes later than usual.

Under this plan, the last day for students is June 2. Previously, the school district had added makeup days to the end of the year, making the last day of school June 9.

The district will also make up two days by asking students to attend school March 21 and April 18, days students would have had off if the district followed the original calendar for the year.

Jane Allen, superintendent of Middlebury schools, said in a board meeting Tuesday, March 4, that teachers were asked about the plan and most are in favor of it.

"We understand it's not as good as it could be, but we feel like this is the best we can do for this winter," Allen said.

She said later that the district had considered another option offered by the state — making up the time online. Students do have school-issued computers, but it's only the second year they've been using them.

For that reason, Allen said, the district decided to make up missed time another way.

Parents will be notified of the new schedule with letters and phone calls.

Middlebury students will also be taking the ISTEP next week, beginning March 10 for the elementary students and March 11 for middle school students. IREAD testing will be March 17,18 and 19.

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