School's out for summer -- except for hundreds of children in western San Bernardino County who, because of an administrative snafu, must make up 34 days of school this summer.
The fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders at Rolling Ridge Elementary in Chino Hills and Dickson Elementary in Chino exceeded the state's requirement of minutes spent in the classroom, and the last day of school was supposed to be Thursday. But because of the complexities of state law and a clerical error on a spreadsheet, the Chino Unified School District will lose more than $7 million in state funds if classes end at the schools before July 31.
Here's the error in question:
Schools typically have one shortened day per week, allowing teachers to use the remaining time for planning and parent conferences. Under state law, these days must be at least 180 minutes, and the daily average classroom time over 10 consecutive days must be 240 minutes.
An internal audit in early May discovered that 34 minimum days had been 175 minutes at Dickson and 170 at Rolling Ridge, said district spokeswoman Julie Gobin. That adds up to a shortage of 170 and 340 minutes, respectively, which could be made up in one or two school days. But under state law, these too-short days do not count at all, meaning that all 34 must be made up to avoid a state penalty of more than $7 million.
Words fail me, but they haven't failed Sean Cornish, a Swiper-quoting fourth-grader:
"Oh, mannnnn," said the 10-year-old, adding that the subject has been a frequent topic of conversation among his classmates. "They think it's dumb, that they have to go to school for these extra days because some lady messed up."