Schools, parents preparing for extra hour of school

by: Jessie McDonough Updated:

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. —

Teachers, parents and students in Duval County are preparing to accommodate the extra hour of school being added by the state to improve reading skills.

There will be a community meeting at Holiday Hill Elementary on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., so parents and administrators can figure out scheduling for the extra hour. Some parents are saying, do what you have to do to improve reading levels while others aren't sure how their work schedules will coincide with the added instruction.

There are 300 schools statewide that are required by the state to add an extra hour.

Holiday Hill Elementary is 1-of-51 schools in Duval County adding an extra hour to their school day. The state put out of a list of 40 required schools in the county, but the superintendent and the Duval County School Board added 11 schools to that list.


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Many parents are worried about how they will be able to pick up their kids if they have other children not on the added instruction list. Another concern is how late after school activities will start and if children will be walking home in the dark.

However some parents are saying reading levels should be the No. 1 priority.

"If the reading scores are low and kids would benefit from it I don't have a problem with it at all," said Bill McLaughlin, a parent.

The school board says extracurricular activities will start after the extra hour and transportation will be provided.

Duval County Public Schools are preparing between $8 and $10 million for overtime instruction and transportation.