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School days will get longer for Hall County
Board votes to extend school hours to make up for lost days
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Hall County students will have to stay in class a little longer each day, starting after spring break.

The Hall County school board decided Monday to extend the school day by one hour to make up for lost days because of snow.

“The hours will give (students) more instruction time before the CRCT (Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests),” said Eloise Barron, Hall County assistant superintendent for teaching and learning.

The 12 school days between spring break and the start of the CRCT test, April 11 to April 26, will be extended one hour for preschool to 12th grade programs. The starting times will remain the same.

The makeup plan also gave staff an outline for how to spend the extra time.

Kindergarten and second grade classes will complete writing workshops and hands-on science or math activities, and third through eighth grade will use the additional hour to further prepare for the reading and math portions of the CRCT.

At the high school level, grades nine to 12, officials will add nine minutes to each class period. It would allow teachers to delve deeper into covered content, the plan states.

Barron said the district could also push dates for major exams forward one week, if the request is approved by the state.

The proposed dates are March 21 to 25 for the graduation test and April 27 to May 4 for the CRCT. The CRCT retests would be May 31 and June 1.

So far, ice, snow and freezing rain has led to six days of closures this school year for Hall County schools.

Though the weather has been more mild lately, the board is wary more snow days could come over the next few months.

Barron said any additional snow days will be tacked on at the end of the year.

However high school graduation dates would remain the same.

The school board also approved the 2011-2012 school calendar Monday, which includes two potential makeup days due to inclement weather. The days are scheduled for May 4 and May 7.

“The benefit is we would have them and not have to figure out when to have them next year,” Barron said. “The downside would be if we don’t use them we would have vacation days at an odd time, just before the end of the year.”

A makeup day was also added at the school board meeting last Tuesday. The board voted to restore Feb. 21, a former furlough day, as an instructional day.

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