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New “flex day” schedule may decrease loss of instructional time during winter

July 10, 2017

At its July 7 meeting, the Monticello Central School District Board of Education voted to approve a new “flex day” schedule option which may help to keep students and staff safe during winter weather without sacrificing instructional time.

On flex days, student and staff arrival time will be delayed by approximately four hours, while dismissal time will be delayed by approximately one hour. Historically, the District could either close school or delay opening on a one or two-hour delay schedule on days where winter weather impacts driving conditions. However, because of the size and geographical diversity of the Monticello Central School District, even a three-hour delay can oftentimes be insufficient in ensuring that staff and students can make it to school safely.

“Even if our students are arriving three hours later, our staff is still here at the crack of dawn in order to ensure the buses are warmed and running and that our schools are heating up,” Superintendent of Schools Tammy Mangus said. “On a three-hour delay schedule, our buses are on the road as early as 8:30 a.m., depending on the route, and sometimes the sun hasn’t melted the ice and snow on our District’s more rural roads. Sometimes, this extra time still isn’t enough and we wind up closing school when just an additional half an hour or an hour would have been sufficient to get out students to school safely.”

The new flex day schedule will help preserve instructional time during our difficult and unpredictable winter months. The District will continue to utilize one and two-hour delays as necessary. The flex day option will replace the three-hour delay option.

“Student and staff safety is always the District’s first priority, followed closely by meeting our students’ academic and social needs,” Ms. Mangus said. “Student success is closely linked with classroom attendance. This flex day schedule will help keep our students and staff safe and will reduce the amount of classroom time lost by Sullivan County’s sometimes-brutal winter weather.”

Under the flex day schedule, buses will arrive and depart each school at the following times:

Monticello High School:
Arrive: 10:45 a.m.
Dismiss: 3:15 p.m.

Robert J. Kaiser Middle School:

Arrive: 10:45 a.m.
Dismiss: 3:15 p.m.

Elementary Schools:

Arrive: 12:10 p.m.
Dismiss: 4:30 p.m.

Empire Extended Day Program
10 a.m. - 6 p.m.