Changes for Whitley County Consolidated Schools

By Rachel Martin

August 11, 2011 Updated Aug 11, 2011 at 6:43 PM EDT

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – This school year is bringing with it new changes for Whitley County Consolidated Schools (WCCS). Budget cuts have significantly impacted staffing, and three-hour delays will be added.

Superintendent Dr. Patricia O’Connor said budget cuts are a large concern. School corporations from all over Indiana are facing significant cuts.

WCCS suffered a $1 million reduction this year as well as for the 2010-2011 school year. As a result, many teachers and staff members had to be cut, which means larger class sizes. Dr. O’Connor said the school board has been focusing on keeping classes as small as they can for optimal learning.

“We are trying to keep our class sizes for kindergarten, first and second grade low, and we are really trying to be faithful to that. But, we certainly have increased class sizes in the middle school and the high school due to these budget cuts.”

Something new being implemented this year: three hour delays.

Dr. O’Connor also said they are adding the three-hour delay option to the two-hour delay option already in place. WCCS had nine snow days last year, which extended the school year by two weeks. Some of those days wouldn’t have been lost if they had and extra hour to consider cancelling school or not.

“By having an additional hour, where we can get some daylight, and hopefully the buses will be able to get out on the roads…after the county has had some time to plow snow or get some sand and salt on those icy roads.”

If a three-hour delay occurs, the school day will be extended by one hour. So, instead of students getting out between 3-3:2- p.m., dismissal will be between 4-4:20 p.m. Dr. O’Connor said this should not interfere with athletics and extra curricular activities.

For all the latest updates on school cancellations or delays, watch the networks of Indiana’s NewsCenter, visit our website, or sign up for TextCaster alerts.

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