Muhlenberg County Schools to Extend School Days

School officials decide to lengthen days by 27 minutes starting next week.
EVSC students are spending an hour longer in school for six days. Soon, students in one Kentucky district will have longer days too, but for the rest of the year. Muhlenberg County School officials approved adding on a half-hour to each school day. The students have to make up for nearly three weeks of learning lost this winter.

Math is a numbers game. This school year, the number of days aren't adding up for Muhlenberg County students.

"It seemed like they were off as long for snow as long as they were for Christmas break," says Michelle Vincent of Greenville.

That's because the district's had 17 snow days this year, more than when the Ice Storm of 2009 hit..

"We've been out of school 17 days and we were out 12 in '08 and '09," says Ed McCarraher of Muhlenberg County Schools. So, how do you make up all that time?

"You have to have a minimum of 1,062 hours and those hours on our amended calendar of 170 days will be short."

The time kids are in school will go up. School officials will add 27 minutes to each school day from next Monday to the end of the school year. McCarraher says it was the best solution available without extending the year deeper into June.

"With the time change coming on March 10th, we know we'll get an extra hour of daylight," he says. "So, it's not like it would be if we were in January or late December when it gets dark at 4:00 or 4:30."

Some parents worry about the long days getting longer for their kids, but they say it's the best answer to the school's calendar math problem.

"There was a mention of Saturday school, which a lot of the kids were not liking the idea," Vincent adds. "The best thing is to probably extend the school day a few minutes like that."

School officials say if they miss any further days because of bad weather, they'll have to extend the school year past June 2nd.

Pike is another Tri-State school district that has had numerous snow days this year. Last night, its school board decided to extend the school year by four days after Memorial Day. That makes their last day of the year May 30th.  If there are any other days the superintendent must call off, the board will explore the options given by the state.

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