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April 08. 2014 12:55PM

Nashua considers extending school day by 12 minutes to make up snow day

Bad weather kept Nashua students home from school for six days this past winter, and typically, if time needs to be made up, extra days are tacked on to the end of the school year, but Superintendent Mark Conrad has come up with an alternative plan.

Conrad has proposed that starting Monday, May 5, the first day back after April vacation, regular school days will be stretched an extra 12 minutes beyond regular dismissal time to allow students to log the hours needed to complete the required 180 days of school. All bus schedules and after-school activities would also be extended to allow students and teachers to make up the lost time.

The district builds five snow days into its calendar, and administrators had originally set Friday, June 20, as the final day of school. But this year, winter storms forced schools to cancel classes for an additional day.

According to Conrad, parents and teachers suggested it would be better to end school on June 20 rather than have students return on Monday, June 23, to make up the extra time.

Conrad proposed the idea to the Board of Education before a budget meeting last week, and members did not raise any objections. Board members acknowledged that student attendance and attention tend to decline as the school year winds down. Extending the school day allows the district to compensate for lost instructional time without disrupting family vacation plans for students and teachers.

The board of education is scheduled to discuss the 12-minute-a-day plan at its meeting on April 14 and will make a final decision no later than April 23.

The Nashua Teachers Union will also have a chance to weigh in on the proposal at its next membership meeting.


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