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Why Richmond voted to shorten students' school day

Posted at 12:45 PM, Oct 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-06 12:45:50-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Richmond School Board voted Monday to shorten school days for students in grades K-12. The decision followed feedback from teachers and families asking the district to do so.

Chief Academic Officer Dr. Tracy Epp presented recommendations to the School Board based on that feedback. Based on those recommendations, the School Board decided to shorten the school day by about an hour for most students.

For younger students, that meant moving the end of the school day up and eliminating recess.

Epp said that's an example of natural tension in trying to do what's best for everyone. She said by ending the school day earlier, the hope would be for students to enjoy time outdoors in the afternoon.

For middle school students, the change would reduce each period by 15 minutes.

Richmond Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras announced his intention to implement the changes in about two weeks. However, some board members asked for the changes to be implemented sooner.

Kamras said he would speak with school principals in their phone call Tuesday, to check with them in terms of timing.

School board members reiterated that communication with families and teachers was key.