Question is How to Make Up Lost School Days

February 12, 2015
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Everything is on the table when it comes to figuring out how to make up missed school days, but Supt. Paul Dakin said this week he would like to experiment with extending the school days in March and April.

“February vacation is here and April is a tough option because families have trips planned and teachers have trips planned,” he said. “However, it’s on the table. We have to consider everything. Saturdays are certainly on the table. I would love, though, to really see us appeal to the state with a good extended day program in March and April.”

At this point, Revere has missed nine days of school since January, after having missed no days of school last fall.

Dakin said he plans to speak with the School Committee to find out their thoughts on how to best make up the days, but he said he would push a plan to apply for a state waiver.

His plan would include making up five days at the end of the year, in June.

However, for the other four days, or any other potential days missed due to future snow events (which is quite possible given current forecasts), he would advocate adding one hour onto school days in March and April.

With each school day requiring six hours, currently that would mean his plan would call for 24 days using an extra hour. If there were six additional days needed, that would require 36 days with an additional hour.

The plan would require the ultimate approval of the state, but Dakin said right now he is just floating the idea locally to see what parents, staff and others think.

“I think we should make up that time in March or April so we get good instruction time – instruction time that comes before the state or Advanced Placement (AP) assessments,” he said. “I feel bad for the students having to take AP exams or college boards. Unless we can get time made up, the students in AP and that are taking college boards will be taking them at a huge disadvantage compared to students in other parts of the country who haven’t missed school.

“Making up days in the last two weeks in June is valuable, but it isn’t going to help those students taking exams,” he continued. “I say let’s get the time in when it matters most…It’s my preferred plan.”

The matter was expected to be discussed at Tuesday night’s School Committee meeting.

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