Medora lengthens day for students

MEDORA

To make up for a couple of missed days in the winter, students at Medora Community School Corp. now will be in class a little longer each weekday through May 15.

The Indiana Department of Education allowed school officials to apply for a one-time conditional waiver to extend the school day.

Medora students needed to make up 12 hours of instructional time for missing Feb. 23 and March 5 because of inclement weather.

Tuesday was the first of 24 school days to have extended time. Elementary students are being released at 3:30 p.m., and junior-senior high students will end their day at 3:42 p.m.

Superintendent Roger Bane said during Monday night’s school board meeting that he applied for the waiver so students wouldn’t have to attend school the first two days of June, which would be after graduation.

The last day of school will now be May 29, which is two days later than the original schedule. Baccalaureate will be that day at 6 p.m., followed by graduation at 7:30 p.m.

School board member Darrell Persinger asked Bane if the teachers were OK with the extended school day. Bane said they were, and Principal Chrystal Street added that kids expressed excitement about not having to go to school after graduation.

The board then unanimously approved the conditional waiver.

Last month, Seymour Community Schools chose to extend the school day by one hour for 12 days beginning April 1 to make up missed days from this winter. Their extended schedule ends Thursday.

Superintendent Rob Hooker said the move was made to allow the district to fulfill the state’s requirement of 180 days of instruction without forcing seniors to come back after graduation on May 31. The last day of the school year for Seymour students will be May 29.

Seymour trustees were scheduled to vote at Tuesday’s regular school board meeting on submitting their request to the state for the conditional waiver and also on a memorandum of understanding with teachers and staff for working the extended days.

Also Tuesday, board members planned to review the makeup day schedule for the 2015-16 school year to see if changes need to be made.

Brownstown Central Community Schools and Crothersville Community Schools did not extend their school days. Both districts chose to add days to the end of the school year after their scheduled graduations.

In 2014, all four public school districts in Jackson County added an hour to the school day. Medora’s extra hour went from Feb. 21 to May 23 a year ago.

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Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at zspicer@tribtown.com or 812-523-7080.