Springfield- Teachers and employees at Springfield Elementary School got an utimely surprise Wednesday. Less than a week before school starts they found out their school day will be an hour longer this year. Instead of 2:00 p.m., the school day will end at 3:00 p.m.
Florida Department of Education officials are mandating the change following another year of poor academic performance for the "D" grade school.
"The scores at this school were such that they were in danger of becoming an F school. So when they get to that point they want to do some preventive measures," said Bay County School Superintendent Bill Husfelt.
Under the change starting Monday students will spend that extra hour each day devoted solely to reading.
"I'm certainly hopeful and want to help these children with the extra time that they need," said Springfield Elementary School 3rd grade teacher Karen Doak.
Bay County School District officials expect it to cost between $300-$400 thousand dollars. Good news for the district, D.O.E. is footing most of the bill.
"We've calculated the transportation costs and everything and it's not going to be that much more because those buses are already running and they would've had to come here anyway," said Husfelt.
Even though teachers are already strapped for time getting their classrooms ready, and now they'll have to rework their school schedules with this last minute announcement, they said they're looking forward to the longer day.
"We're willing to give whatever it takes to make our students successful," said Springfield Elementary literacy coach Linda Pitts.
Parents with questions or concerns can call Springfield Elementary at (850)767-4575.