Clemons proposes adding few minutes to school day next year
Gloucester Public Schools Superintendent Walter Clemons asked the county school board to consider adding a few minutes to the school day next year to build up time to allow for closures during inclement weather. Clemons made the suggestion during the board’s meeting Tuesday at the T.C. Walker Education Center.
The school division was closed for eight days due to snow this winter, had three two-hour delayed openings and an early dismissal. Because the division has a 170-day instructional calendar rather than the traditional 180-day schedule, it must measure and make up lost instructional time in clock hours.
To reach the 990 required instructional hours this year, the school board scheduled four make-up days for student attendance and added 15 minutes to each school day beginning March 23.
Lengthening the school day slightly next year would be more cost-effective than adding makeup days for student attendance. Clemons said it costs $35,000 to add an instructional day. The board did not vote on the matter but will likely revisit the suggestion prior to the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year.
In other business, the board approved a schedule of student fees for the 2015-2016 school year. Increases were few and included a hike in tuition for IPOP preschool programs from $375 to $400 per semester and an increase of $15 for middle school students involved in the Future Problem Solving competition.