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Schools add minutes to students' days
Parents of public school children take note: your child's school day will be a pinch longer this school year.

The Glynn County School System is tacking on 10 minutes to each school day for elementary and high school students and five minutes for middle school students.

The additional minutes will make up for time lost from three employee furlough days scheduled during the new school year, which begins in Glynn County Aug. 7.

Amanda Kirkland, president of the Glynn County PTA Council, does not expect the extra time to be a problem logistically. As a parent, the only decision she will have to make is whether to pick up her elementary school children and let her middle school child ride the bus, or vice-versa.

Kirkland said she is more concerned about the three missing days of school than she is the extended day.

Students in Georgia are required by the state Department of Education to be in the classroom for a minimum amount of time each school year. The rule requires students in kindergarten through third grade to average 4.5 hours of instructional time a day for 180 days or its equivalent.

The time increases for students in fourth grade and fifth grade to five hours, and to 5.5 hours for students in sixth through 12th grade.

To make up for the planned furlough days, students at Glynn County's two high schools will still start their day at 8:20 a.m. and end their day at 3:30 p.m.

Middle School students will have both the latest start and release time of all students, starting their day at 8:30 a.m. and ending at 3:45 p.m.

Elementary students will start at 8 a.m. and end at 2:45 p.m.

The new times should be easy enough for parents to handle, Kirkland said.

She said the students, however, would be better off regaining the three full school days than a tiny sliver of the three spread across the entire school year.

"I don't think parents will see any real instructional value from (the extra time)," Kirkland said.

She said budgetary concerns left the school system little choice than to turn to furloughs.

"If it keeps them from making more cuts, then I understand why the decision was made," she said.

Changing times

Glynn County public schools start and end times from 2011-2012 compared to 2012-2013:

Elementary

2011-12: 8 a.m. - 2:35 p.m.

2012-13: 8 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.

(added 10 minutes)

Middle

2011-12: 8:25 a.m. - 3:35 p.m.

2012-13: 8:30 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.

(added 5 minutes)

High

2011-12: 8:20 a.m. - 3:20 p.m.

2012-13: 8:20 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

(added 10 minutes)



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