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Chappaqua: Talk on Longer Elementary School Days

At tonight's Chappaqua school board meeting, there will be a presentation for a proposal to lengthen the days of the district's elementary schools.

A proposal to lengthen the instructional days for Chappaqua's three elementary schools will be presented at tonight's school board meeting.

The plan would involve adding half an hour to the day, bringing the total from six hours to six hours and 30 minutes. The change, according to a presentation posted online, would also involve changing "specials" to 40-minute classes on a 6-day rotation. This would impact physical education (three times), vocal music, art and library (one time each). Additionally, the longer day would bring a new, 30-minute intervention/extension period, which could accomodate activities such as AIS, instrumental music and special education services, according to the presentation.

In the presentation, one reason cited for making the change is have Chappaqua become comporable to other school districts. In Westchester County, the presentation notes, six hours and 30 minutes is the typical school day length. 

The school day would run from 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., according to the presentation. Some classes would see more annual hours, such as physicial education (from six to 24, depending on the grade) and music and library (up two in each grade). Art, however, would see a decline of four hours for kindergarten and seven for grades 1-4.

The district's presentation lists a litany of pros for the change, including more core instructional time, making it easier to schedule AIS and special education, more frequent physicial education classes, using the same 6-day schedule process as secondary level schools and cost savings. The cons, however, include fewer art hours, less frequency of art and music, and art teachers needing to travel between more than one school.

The school board's meeting starts at 8:15 p.m. at Horace Greeley High School's commons. Click here for the meeting agenda and click here for a copy of the presentation for the proposed schedule changes.

A copy of the presentation is attached to this story as a PDF.

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