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Area School District Lengthens School Day

By Staff | Mar 25, 2010

With the sun shining and snow cover rapidly melting away, the days of school being cancelled due to inclement weather during the past two months seem far removed. But for students in one area school district, snow days at the beginning of the year are now translating into longer days in the classroom.

Officials of the Graettinger/Terril Community School lengthened the school day in their district  effective Monday, March 22.  Students in Graettinger/Terril began attending a school day that nows starts earlier and lasts later in the day in order to help make up snow days missed during January and February.

With many area districts looking at an average of eight days to make up in order to meet the state-mandated 180 days of school, state regulators offered school districts the option of extending their class day by 35 minutes to help make up the missed days. Under the state guideline, five hours are considered a full day of school, meaning it would require 10 longer days to make up one day of school.

Administrators at Graettinger/Terril decided to adopt the extended day, meaning that the school day officially starts at 8:15 a.m. instead of 8:20 and then ends at 4:00 p.m., instead of 3:30 p.m.  The change in the morning start time necessitated an adjustment forward of five minutes earlier for all bus routes, as well as the shuttle buses that depart Graettinger and Terril. Those shuttles now run at 7:40 a.m. instead of 7:45 a.m.  Conversely, the afternoon shuttle buses  leave Graettinger and Terril at 3:30 p.m., instead of 3:07 p.m., with the final bus routes leaving the school buildings at 4 p.m.

The class schedules will see five minutes added onto each period for high school and middle school students, while elementary students will add the additional time to their activities. The district will continue to offer the daily student assistance time, which will now run from 3:35 to 3:55 p.m. each day.

A scheduled vacation day on April 5 has been canceled and classes will be held to make up one of the snow days for Graettinger/Terril students. Through the extension of the school day and use of makeup days, the final day for classes at Graettinger/Terril for the school year will be on May 26.

Any district patrons with questions on the extended school day are urged to contact the building principals; Chris Richards in Graettinger at 712-859-3286, or Jesse Ulrich in Terril at 712-853-6111.