Thursday, February 20, 2003

No more room on calendar, minutes to make up the time



By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

ERLANGER - Starting Tuesday, Kenton County Schools' students will make up snow days by going to school an extra 30 minutes a day.

LONGER DAYS
New times for Kenton County Schools effective Tuesday
SchoolHours
Elementaries
Beechgrove8:25 a.m.-3:35 p.m.
Caywood8:20 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Fort Wright8:35 a.m.-3:50 p.m.
Hinsdale8:20 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Kenton8:35 a.m.-3:45 p.m.
Piner8:35 a.m.-3:50 p.m.
River Ridge8:25 a.m.-3:40 p.m.
Ryland Hts8:20 a.m.-3:35 p.m.
Summit View8:20 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Taylor Mill8:20 a.m.-3:35 p.m.
Visalia8:35 a.m.-3:50 p.m.
White's Tower8:35 a.m.-3:45 p.m.

Middle schools
Summit View7:40 a.m.-2:50 p.m.
Turkey Foot7:35 a.m.-2:47 p.m.
Twenhofel7:30 a.m.-2:50 p.m.
Woodland7:32 a.m.-2:50 p.m.

High schools
Dixie Heights7:45 a.m.-3 p.m.
Scott7:30 a.m.-2:50 p.m.
Simon Kenton7:30 a.m.-2:50 p.m.
Six snow makeup days were built into the 2002-2003 school calendar. After the district uses those six days, its contract with the teachers union calls for extending the school day by at least 15 minutes to make up instructional time lost because of weather or other factors.

So far, the Kenton County system has used eight snow days, so it must extend the school day.

Kentucky law requires that students in public schools get 175 six-hour instructional days, or a total of 1,050 instructional hours. Requiring a certain number of hours instead of days gives districts more flexibility in making up lost time, said Lisa Gross, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Department of Education.

"If we continue to get bad weather and we miss three more days, we'll have to look at some other options for making up the time," said Dr. Susan Cook, superintendent of Kenton County Schools.

Starting Tuesday, all Kenton County students in Grades 1 through 12 will start school 10 minutes earlier and end the school day 20 minutes later.

Kindergarten pupils will go 15 minutes longer each day. For morning kindergarten students, school will begin 10 minutes earlier and end five minutes later. Afternoon kindergarten pupils will begin five minutes later and end 20 minutes later.

The Kenton County school board is expected to approve extending the school day for its 12,287 students at its meeting Monday.

Ky Webb, whose four daughters attend Turkey Foot Middle School and Dixie Heights High School, said that if it were up to him, he would have the students make up snow days on Saturdays. During a teachers' strike in the early 70s, he attended school on Saturdays to make up days missed.

"I'm sure for teachers and their families, Saturday might be a bigger hardship than adding the extra minutes," the Crestview Hills resident said. "But I would prefer that because it gets it out of the way quicker."

No matter how many days they miss, students' last day of school will remain June 13, in keeping with the district's agreement with the Kenton County Education Association.

"This school year, with the weather conditions and the delays that we've had, it's really important for us to get as much instructional time as we can before the (CATS) assessment on May 5-16, rather than add days at the end of the school year," Cook said.

Information on the school day extension and bus schedules was sent home with students Wednesday, Cook said. Details also are posted on Kenton County Schools' Web site at www.kenton.k12.ky.us.

Missed days per school and plans for making them up

SchoolDays missedMakeup solution
Beechwood Independent2 snow, 1 for state championship football gameUndecided
Bellevue Independent2 snowAdd two days at end of school year
Boone County Public 7 snowFour days were built into calendar, undecided on remaining three days
Campbell County Public 9 snowFive already made up, undecided on remaining four days
Covington IndependentDelayed openingsNone
Dayton Independent1 snow, 3 sick Three days already made up, undecided on remaining day
Erlanger-Elsmere Independent2 snowAdd two days at end of school year
Kenton County Public 8 snowExtended school days by 30 minutes starting Feb. 25
Ludlow Independent1 snowAdd one day at end of school year
Newport IndependentDelayed openingsNone
Silver Grove Independent1 snow, 1 sickOne day added at end of school year, undecided on remaining day
Southgate Independent3 sickMakeup days are March 10, April 18, and May 30
Walton-Verona Independent11 snow, 3 sick, 1 emergencyOne day already made up, undecided on remaining 14days

E-mail cschroeder@enquirer.com




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