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Extra day a bit of fun for students

The hallways were littered with red and white carnations from the previous night's graduation ceremony in Eden Junior-Senior High School, but classrooms, usually silent on the first day of summer, were still abuzz with activity.

Thank the October snowstorm.

For the first time in its history, Eden was forced to tack on an extra half-day of school because of a state Education Department technicality which requires 180 days of session.

While several area districts scrambled to make up the time lost when schools were closed for a week or more in October, Eden also had to contend with several other unscheduled closings because of snow days.

Officials announced in March that all students would have to attend class on the extra day, even seniors, who were scheduled to graduate the night before.

The district later told seniors they did not have to attend.

So, from 7 to 11 a.m. Friday, all Eden students through grade 11 were expected to show up for class.

According to Superintendent Ronald Buggs, seniors were exempt because the day was a Regents exam grading day, which counts as an official session day.

Junior-senior high school principal Marc Graff noted that, under those guidelines, all high school students were not expressly required to report.

"Well, we invited them," he said. "We got what we expected . . . a lot of the younger kids," he added, laughing.

Buggs said he did not know the rate of attendance for the district.

Elementary pupils passed the day with an awards ceremony and classes, and Buggs noted that teachers had been instructed to spread out their lesson plans so that instruction would continue until the last day.

In the junior-senior high school, which has 898 students, the time was spent wrapping up loose ends and having fun.

"We had a movie in the aud, and then we sat around and talked the whole day," said Gary Gawera, 16, who just finished tenth grade. "They said about 100 kids showed up and that they were happy about that," he added.

Ali Glaser, 13, who left seventh grade, said she didn't mind the extra day. "We didn't really have class, so it was really relaxed. I liked it a lot," she said.

The day was also put to use by administrators, who held an emergency evacuation drill. Teachers and students were also given more time to empty their lockers and classrooms.

"We took advantage of the nice weather and the fact that we had extra time," Graff said.

Lynn Morgan, who taught seventh-grade art this semester, said she brought Freeze-pops for her students, but that most ran off to watch the movie, "A Bug's Life," instead. She wasn't concerned, noting that there was little work to be done.


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