Shelton to recommend adding 15 minutes a day in Fayette County to make up snow days

vhoneycutt@herald-leader.comMarch 21, 2014 

Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton will recommend to the school board Monday that school days be extended by 15 minutes for the rest of the year to make up for time missed because of snow days.

Shelton told the Herald-Leader on Friday that he had decided to make the recommendation in addition to asking the school board to decide that June 6 be the last day of the school year. The extended day would go into effect after spring break, March 31 through April 4. Shelton said more details would be presented at Monday night's board meeting.

Shelton said he made the recommendation "so that we complete the required amount of instructional time for a school year (1,062 hours)."

Shelton said all schools have at least six hours and five minutes of instruction each day. He has previously told the Herald-Leader that the district could work with bus drivers to extend the school day without incurring extra costs for overtime.

Extending school days is one way that districts have tried to deal with makeup days after a winter that has led to a large number of snow days statewide.

Fayette County has canceled 13 days this school year because of snow, ice or cold weather.

Other districts in Kentucky, including Scott County, have decided to add minutes to the school day. State lawmakers are working on legislation to provide some relief in the school calendar for districts hit hard by snow days.

Fayette County has made other adjustments to the school calendar because of snow days. Students in the district already have made up or are scheduled to make up 10 days.

Under the current calendar, the last day of school would be Wednesday, June 11, as long as the district doesn't miss any more days.

Shelton said this week, however, that he would recommend that June 6 be the last day of school for the current school year. He has said he doesn't think going to school in the second week of June has "real benefit" to students.

Fayette Board Vice Chair Melissa Bacon said Friday that she supported Shelton's proposals to compensate for the lost time.

"We all are trying ... to be out by June 6," Bacon said.

However, having June 6 as the last day would be contingent on having no more snow days this school year.

Valarie Honeycutt Spears: (859) 231-3409. Twitter: @vhspears.

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