CLUTE — Brazosport ISD students will have their school days extended by 30 minutes next academic year, the district's trustees decided during their regular meeting Monday night.

The decision comes after students were not able to attend classes on campus from March 16 through the scheduled end of the current school year because of coronavirus, and adding 30 minutes to each school day would provide for an extra 14 days’ worth of time for high school campuses and 15 days’ worth for the other campuses, Superintendent Danny Massey said. The current schedule allows for an extra two and three days of additional time, he said.

“Additional time will allow for more intervention, enrichment and social and emotional learning,” Massey said. “At this time we are preparing for … the next school year with 100 percent face-to-face instruction.”

With the extra 30 minutes added to each school day, the new hours will be 8:05 a.m. to 4:05 p.m. for elementary campuses, Clute Intermediate and Lanier Middle School, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for secondary campuses, and 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for the Lighthouse Learning Center and Brazos Success Academy.

Board Secretary Jerry Adkins asked how the change will affect students who participate in off-campus extracurricular activities after school.

“I don’t see them being able to leave at 3:30 and still make wherever they’re gonna go to participate in whatever activity,” he said.

There is a rule that students are allowed to get out early for extracurricular purposes, though not more than 10 days per school year, Massey said.

Despite his concern, Adkins agreed with the need for extra time, he said.

Board member Patty Sayes believes the transition will be difficult, but there’s no other way, she said.

“I think it’s gonna be difficult on the students and on the parents and the teachers, but it’s just not an ideal situation,” she said. “But I just don’t think there’s any other way and I think the option that y’all chose is the ideal option to get through this difficult time.”

Corinna Richardson is the features writer for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0150. ​

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(2) entries

pnewton

So let me get this straight. With this virus being an issue, the solution is more school? And this is based on what? Is there any science here or is this simply trying to make up time, even for those who busted their tail keeping up with their studies from home. So I see two lessons. The first is, life is not fair for the hard-working. The second is, we need a different school board.

rjwinder

A longer school day is in no way equivalent to an extended school year! Those extra 30 minutes per day will wear out and burn up the elementary kids first, then all the rest of the children and staff in the district. Exhausted kiddos - struggling to be able to participate in any of the "fun" parts of school since time for extracurriculars would suffer while beaten down with an adult-sized work week. We would roll to a spectacular train wreck in May 2021 ... and then face 2 solid month of no instruction over the summer, which for most children will leave them in an even worse spot. It would no longer even be the gentle "summer slide" of a relaxed and idle mind, but a post-trauma recovery state of hyper-extended bodies and brains ... kids and teachers alike!

We need a BETTER solution for BISD schools, period. Yes it will be uncomfortable to make changes, but we have a real opportunity here to innovate and create a robust system that supports and sustains our children and front-line educators in a *healthy* way. Consider any combination of the following: shorter days and a longer school year with breaks spread throughout the schedule (none longer than 3 weeks); SMALLER CLASS SIZES!!!; remote learning offered in parallel with in-class instruction to support kiddos who may be out for extended isolations while waiting for their 14 days to conclude; reduced emphasis on beating them over the heads with standardized tests (c'mon TEA, we can do this!!).

My soon-to-be 9th grader just wandered through and asked what I was doing. I summarized for her, and I wish I could illustrate the look of disgust on her face when I explained the decision that had been made. She said, "A longer school day would be awful. A longer school year might be okay." Please school board, reconsider this plan of action! You've got two solid months to think of something DIFFERENT.

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