The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Local Education

February 1, 2014

Pressure's on as students cope with lost instruction time

Administrators, teachers adjusting schedules to accommodate weather

ANDERSON — Elementary school kids might thrill to news of an unexpected snow day and the opportunity to sleep in and take it easy when they're usually expected to be at their desks.

Not so their older high school brothers and sisters, though.

Snow days and and two-hour delayed openings — of which there have been many this unusually cold and snowy winter — means the loss of critical instruction time.

So far this year more than 500 hours of class time has been lost because of bad weather, said Anderson High School Principal Terry Thompson.

Senior Hannah Achenbach, who later this semester will be taking tough advanced placement and advanced college placement tests, is feeling the impact of cancelled days and shortened classes.

"It's very hard when you don't know some of the information to begin with," she said.

"A lot of it is crucial. I am the type of person who enjoys teaching myself new things, but I would rather be taught it in class the correct way," added the 18-year-old senior who will be attending Ball State University in the fall.

In Alan Landes' Spanish class last week, about half the 26 students also face high-stakes advanced placement tests later this semester.

"Second semester especially is spent preparing them for that test, and the AP tests are all exceptionally hard so you really need to have as much class time as possible to get them prepared for that," Landes said.

"Any days that we get behind just makes it harder for them," he added. "You know one day behind is one thing, but when you get multiple days behind and then two-hour delays when you're cutting 20 minutes out of each class — it just all adds up."

Class member Conner Oleksy said he's preparing for an advanced placement test in statistics and facing the reality of going through chapters of information every couple of days now.

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