Long River implements new schedule

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PROSPECT — When Long River Middle School students returned following winter break this month, a new schedule greeted seventh- and eighth-graders.

The new schedule reinstated a 20-minute flex period at the end of the day for the students.

In the fall, parents complained to school officials that a schedule change this school year to create an eighth period took away flex time for many seventh- and eighth-graders. The eighth period was created in order to accommodate new reading and math programs, and to allow more students to take a world language.

In previous years, every student at the school got a 30-minute flex period at the end of the day. Parents said their children used the time to get started on homework or get extra help from teachers. But, after the flex time was removed, some parents expressed concerns that their children were being overburdened.

In response to the concerns, school officials rearranged the schedule to fit the flex time back into the school day. The schedule for sixth-graders, who receive a study hall each day, remained the same.

Seventh- and eighth-graders that do not take a world language also have a study hall. These students now have the option to study a foreign language with Rosetta Stone in the study hall.

Region 16 Superintendent of Schools Michael Yamin said the work to redo the schedule was done in house and didn’t cost the district, which oversees schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect, additional money. He said a focus group is working on a permanent schedule for next school year. The focus group is expected to give its recommendation to the Board of Education by April, he said.