Time to Change: School system proposes extending school day


Daniel Figueredo

We all know the feeling, taking routine glances at the clock, watching as it slowly ticks toward 3:40 when the bell rings and the day ends. But what if that wait was extended for another 15 or even 30 minutes? That may be on the horizon, a proposal has been made within WSFCS to extend the school day, and is a change that could be implemented soon . An official memo from the superintendent, Tricia McManus, explained the thought behind the proposal. The memo stated that specific grade levels are receiving different amounts of instruction time than others, and the day extension is supposed to help balance that discrepancy. The memo also stated that the school day extension would allow for increased flexibility in school day scheduling, particularly bus transportation. as well as working more teacher work days into the schedule. This proposal, still in its early stages, was met with criticism and scrutiny from teachers, students, and parents alike who see no sense in making the school day longer.
“I don’t love the idea of extending the school day; Many students and teachers have after school commitments. I suggested to district administrators that if the proposal is approved, the extra time be added in between classes,” French teacher Virginia Browne said.
Students also expressed their views on the matter, and have their own worries about the impact the proposal could have if it is approved.
“I’m worried it [the proposal] will affect my lacrosse schedule and having time to get my homework done after practice. I don’t see much benefit in it, but I guess it depends on what they [school system] do with the time if it is approved,” sophomore Mary Wallace Sutton said.
Many are wondering where the extra time will go within the day. Adding time to each class, or in between classes, or adding time to lunch are all possibilities but nothing has been officially announced.
“I don’t really see the benefit of making our already long classes even longer. I could see some in maybe extending lunch time, as I have heard many students say they don’t have enough time to eat,” chemistry teacher Anne Atkins said.
People may voice their opinions on the proposal; a survey is available to all parents, students, and teachers within the county. The survey serves as a measure of the overall public opinion on the proposal, which appears to be against the proposal as 80 percent of feedback has been negative.
“High schoolers only have a certain span of productivity. Extending the school day wouldn’t help students, because they’re already so mentally drained,” sophomore Xavier Lopez said.
According to another memo from superintendent McManus, the survey feedback led to the board postponing a decision on the proposal until sometime next year, giving the school board more time to review it.