CHAMPLAIN -- Northeastern Clinton Central elementary students will end their day earlier starting next year.

The NCCS School Board approved that change at its session in Mooers earlier this week, following the recommendation of Superintendent of Schools Robert Hebert.

He based that choice on results of a survey of parents that showed 79 percent preferred the earlier release over sending their children to school later each day.

"Twenty percent wanted to have the morning," Hebert said.

About 1 percent expressed no preference.

So, beginning in September, students at the Mooers and Rouses Point elementary buildings will be released at about 2:40 p.m. instead of 3:15, which will give teachers a daily half-hour of common planning time.

That's a component of a reading program for students kindergarten through grade 2 that will kick off next year in an attempt to improve test scores and reduce the number of children identified for special education.

The School Board had originally decided to cut a half-hour from the start of the day, but an outcry from parents resulted in the survey and subsequent change in plans.

"I was very pleased that we had such an excellent turnout with the survey," Hebert said.

A meeting will take place near the end of May, with the date yet to be chosen, to discuss child-care possibilities -- among them a YMCA program -- with parents and anyone else who wants to attend, Hebert said.

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