Chesterfield Parents Upset About Longer School Days

Some Chesterfield parents say they are upset and shocked that their kids will have to stay an extra 15 minutes in school to make up for this week’s snow days.

“You can’t expect that many people to re-arrange their schedules because we had snow days,” said Roni Fisher, a mother of two Chesterfield students.

Fisher is one of many angry parents Thursday night after Chesterfield school leaders announced that they are making changes to the schedule in order to make up for six school days students had to miss because of winter weather. The school system calendar doesn’t have “built in” snow days.

School officials are adding 15 minutes to the end of each day March 2 through April 30. They also eliminated early release days on February 25 and March 25.

“There should be other avenues already worked into the system,” said Fisher.

Fisher’s two daughters have dance class right after school.

“Dance class may not seem like a big deal to the board of supervisors, but it’s a big deal to my daughters. And it’s a big deal to the dance teachers when the kids come in late and disrupt class.”

Outraged parents took to the school system’s Facebook page.

“How much more instruction are they getting for 15 minutes?” said Fisher.

On the 2014-2015 school calendar, the make up time section references the option to lengthen the school day.

Shawn Smith, the assistant director for the school system’s community relations said this in a statement to 8News:

“When making such a decision, we are looking at the collective impact time missed will have on classroom instruction and compliance with associated federal/state educational (including testing) requirements.”

Not all comments on the Facebook page are negative….other parents say they don’t have a problem with the changes.

One mom wrote, “Very happy as to how the county is handling the snow. Adding 15 is a great idea.”

“Even though 15 minutes doesn’t seem like much, when you add 15 minutes to everybody’s day, everybody has to reschedule. Everybody in the county–you have stay home moms, you have people that work, you have teachers that have second jobs,” said Fisher.

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