Some D-70 'mountain schools' to add extra time to make up for snow days

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COLORADO CITY, Colo. (KKTV) - A handful of schools in Pueblo County District 70 will have longer days beginning next week as a way to make up for all the snow days this calendar year.

Effective Feb. 17, 10 minutes will be added to the school day for Craver Middle School and Rye High School. Rye Elementary School will have 15 minutes added. This means for the middle and high schools, classes will start at 7:25 a.m. and end at 3:35 p.m. The elementary school will begin five minutes early at 7:40 a.m. and add the other 10 minutes to the end of the day, letting out at 3:10 p.m.

The district says adding these extra minutes will keep those schools in compliance with the Colorado Department of Education.

"It’s not about days, but student contact hours,” said D-70 Superintendent Ed Smith in a news release Wednesday detailing the change. “We had three days in October and December where we were closed district-wide and four closures in the mountain schools. Then
February hit us hard with two snow days in two weeks. We are nearing the limit of our instructional hours, and with the uncertainty of Colorado spring weather, we are taking necessary action now.”

The district explained that its four-day week and 1,125 student contact hours gives them 45 hours of wiggle room for snow days or other cancellations. The Colorado City and Rye schools were at risk of falling below the required number of contact hours.

The district says their other mountain schools in Beulah are not in danger of falling under the required number of hours because they already had extra time built into their school day.

School bus schedules will be adjusted accordingly and will pick up students five minutes earlier and drop off five to 10 minutes later depending on the school and route, the district said.