FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Fort Wayne Community Schools’ Board of School Trustees approved a proposal Monday night to extend the school day by one hour because of a record-breaking amount of snow days this school year. FWCS has canceled 12 instructional days due to inclement weather.
Beginning Mar. 3, elementary schools will finish school at 4:30 p.m., middle schools will finish at 3:25 p.m., and high schools will be released at 3:35 p.m. The extended days will continue until Apr. 11. The extra hour will not be in effect Mar. 28, the last day of classes before spring break.
State law (IC 20-30-2) requires that public schools provide instruction to students 180 days a year. This year, the state provided waivers for two weather cancellations. That left 10 days FWCS had to make up. To read more about the 180-day requirement, click here.
FWCS spokeswoman Krista Stockman said extending the school day by one hour from Mar. 3 to Apr. 11 allows FWCS to make up four days total. One day was made up on Jan. 31 and the district will use two make-up days on May 9 and May 23.
The remainder of the days will be made up in June. The last day of school for FWCS will be on Friday, June 6. The third quarter will now end Mar. 28.
Graduation dates and times will not change.
LUNCH AND SNACKS
The district already offers snack programs at most elementary schools, but encourages students who are in a school that doesn’t offer snacks to bring a nutritional, non-messy snack.
“We’re even looking at when lunch is served and making some adjustments I know in the secondary, but we are also looking at having snacks available,” said FWCS Superintendent Wendy Robinson.
AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES
Robinson also says the district will monitor how teachers are keeping students engaged.
Elementary after-school activities will be canceled during the five weeks of extended days. Middle and high school after-school activities will continue to take place. Middle school programs will offer activities, including practices, on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Coaches and advisers will notify students and parents of changes. Activity buses will run an hour later with certain exceptions. Parents should check with their school to see when activity buses will run.
Study Connection will not be offered from Mar. 3 to Apr. 11. YMCA after-school care program will continue to run until 6 p.m.
IEP programs will still be followed and Special Education will work with families as needed.
FWCS said eLearning was not an option due to the large number of students who don’t have home computers or online access. FWCS does not provide one-to-one computers for students.
OFFICE HOURS AND SPRING BREAK
District offices will remain open an additional 30 minutes. Middle and high school offices will be open until 4:30 p.m. and elementary offices will remain open until 5 p.m., as will the FWCS switchboard.
Districts officials said using spring break as make-up days, including Memorial Day and Good Friday, were not options considering the large amount of students and staff members who already have plans. The district also decided against Saturday classes.
If any additional school days are canceled the district said it would reevaluate the calendar and possibly add extra extended days or make-up days to the end of the school year.
FWCS is the largest school district in Indiana with approximately 31,000 students throughout 51 buildings.