SAU extends school day by 30 minutes
By DAN DECONINCK
- Spring has arrived, and with it has come the hope for a season defined by ample sunshine and the smell of fresh cut grass. But winter isn’t ready to let the students and faculty in Goffstown off the hook just yet.
Superintendent Stacey Buckley announced in a formal letter recently that all Goffstown schools will be extending the school day by 30 minutes, beginning on April 1.
Buckley wrote that the “multitude of snow days” that were the result of this winter’s particularly brutal snow and ice storms, sent the Goffstown School Board searching for ways to shorten the school year. Had no changes been made, schools would not have finished until Monday, June 29, a date dangerously close to the July 1 deadline required by law.
With more than 3,400 students and faculty in the Goffstown School District, a solution that appeases everyone appears not to exist, but Buckley believes that, “The School Board’s solution … will meet the majority of (its) constituents’ needs.”
Under the new policy, the school day for every Goffstown school will last 30 minutes longer.
Starting times will not be affected, with the exception of Glen Lake’s afternoon session, which will begin at 12:45 p.m., when the change occurs. Officials expect the new schedule to continue until May 18, when hours will return to “normal,” but stress the fact that this date is “flexible” and “approximate.”
If spring flooding causes additional school cancellations, the extended school days will continue later into the season.
Barring any further cancellations, Goffstown schools will conclude their academic year on Wednesday, June 24.
Goffstown High School Principal Francis J. McBride said he feels confident that his students and faculty will make a smooth transition into the new schedule.
“I’m sure we’ll hear some rumblings for a few days,” said McBride, “but my gut reaction is that we’ll all adjust quickly.”
Dante Distaso, a junior at GHS, admits that getting out of school later will make life a little more hectic, as he rushes to his job after the final bell, but said, “It will still be worth it if it means getting out five days earlier.”
While the solution may not be perfect, many students and staff members agree it was the best option available.
“We do understand that there will be challenges for some families,” Buckley noted in her letter. “Individual school administrators are prepared to speak with families to help identify solutions to those difficulties this change may cause.”