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Mansfield ISD Considering Longer School Day

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jason Allen
Jason came to North Texas after working as a reporter for four y...
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MANSFIELD (CBSDFW.COM) – Students and parents in Mansfield might not like the latest effect of school budget cuts.  The school district is proposing some students stay in class until almost 5:00 p.m.  It’s part of a move to try to cut an additional $13 millon from the district’s budget before next year.

Under the plan, high school, middle school and intermediate students would all move to eight-period days, away from the four-block scheduling they use right now.  It would mean an additional half-hour in school for all students, including at the elementary level.  High school students would have more than 10 per cent more time in the classroom for the year.

“I don’t think anybody’s thinking about the kids’ schedules, or even the family’s schedule,” said Paul Christensen.  He has three children, in all different levels of school.  They all are involved in extracurricular activities which could be affected by the new scheduling.  His daughter in middle school, who plays soccer, would not get out of class until 4:45 each afternoon.

Christensen said the homework load as it as has not been manageable.  “Very frequently she’ll just have two hour type homework assignments. I don’t know how they think it’s going to be balanced about everything else and have it be reasonable. It’s just not reasonable.”

In a posting on its website, Mansfield says the rescheduling would save the district $6 million per year. It would mean no programs would have to be cut.  No staff members or teachers would have to be laid off.

The district posted the proposed schedule Friday afternoon, before the week-long Thanksgiving break and did not return calls or emails for comment Monday.

In an explanation online though it said “Principals and teachers will work together to develop a homework, test and project schedule that is manageable for students, so they are not overwhelmed.”

Even though students will spend a half hour extra in school each day, they will spend less time in each individual class.  That’s what worries parents like Patsy Winston.  “In addition to not getting all the instruction, they’re not going to be able to get all their work done and so that’s going to come home with them.”

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