No more early release for good behavior.
Come Jan. 17, children in grades 1-3 in the Newhall School District will have to stay in class just as long as their cohorts in grades 4-6.
Bell schedules vary slightly by school, but in general it means a 45-minute extension to the school day for the primary grades.
Kindergarten and upper-grade schedules will remain as they are.
Primary graders in the Newhall District currently start school at the same time as their older peers but get out earlier. The change means their school day will start and end at the same time.
In an Aug. 3 letter to parents, Superintendent Marc Winger said the school board and the Newhall Teachers Association agreed to lengthen the younger pupils’ instructional day, as most Los Angeles County school districts have done.
The extra minutes “will provide more time for instruction in language arts and math and deeper explorations in science, social studies, the arts and physical education,” Winger wrote.
A single dismissal time “will also be a benefit to families with multiple children, allowing one visit to the school at the end of the day,” he wrote.
“We know that time alone is not the answer,” he wrote, “but time directed by a highly trained teacher can positively affect achievement” and facilitate instruction in subjects not found on standardized tests.
Winger indicated the change will be permanent.
He made the announcement just before the start of the current school year in order to give teachers enough time to plan the extra instruction, and to allow parents to adjust their schedules and make child-care arrangements.
More information to parents should be forthcoming from their school principal as Jan. 17 approaches.
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