Herkimer Elementary increasing length of school day for 2021-22; District to also offer additional programs and counseling

Following an agreement with the Herkimer Faculty Association, the school day for students in kindergarten through grade 5 at Herkimer Elementary will increase by 30 minutes for the 2021-22 school year. The longer day for elementary students will result in an 8 percent increase in instructional time.

Students at Herkimer Elementary will attend school on a staggered schedule during the 2021-22 school year, with students in grades K-2 attending from 8:30 a.m. to 3:20 p.m., and students in grades 3-5 attending from 8 a.m. to 2:50 p.m. The pre-kindergarten program, which will see a 50-minute daily increase, will run from 8 a.m. to 2:20 p.m.

At the Jr./Sr. High School, classes will run from 7:40 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., with teachers having an additional duty or teaching an additional class. The additional class at the high school will allow the district to reduce class sizes, and offer academic interventions and enrichment/elective classes. At the middle school, the agreement will help create regular targeted academic intervention classes outside the school day for students.

Building principals will be reaching out directly to parents with details about transportation and other building-specific information.

The agreement with the faculty association also allows the district to explore the creation of credit recovery counseling, tutoring programs, and enrichment/elective classes outside the traditional day. Across the entire district, all counselors, social workers, and psychologists will be available to engage in additional counseling sessions before or after school.

These changes are all part of the district’s plan to use the influx of state foundation aid in conjunction with federal stimulus money connected with the American Rescue Plan (ARP). According to the U.S. Department of Education, the ARP funds must be used to address the many impacts of COVID-19 on education.

Through an online survey in June, the district sought feedback from parents, teachers, and other stakeholders regarding how to best use the funds. The changes mentioned above were among the responses from stakeholders. To view the complete plan, visit our website (https://www.herkimercsd.org/forms/arp-and-foundation-aid-plan).

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