NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – There’s a middle school mess up in New Rochelle.

The district won’t meet the required minimum number of instructional hours for sixth, seventh and eighth graders. It’s going to mean a loss of state aid and extra days of class in late June.

New Rochelle has two middle schools with 2,400 students who can look to the school board president for a lesson in taking responsibility.

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“It’s a major failure on our part. Something we should have known, should have implemented up front, but we didn’t,” said school board president Jeff Hastie.

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Last summer, the state education department established new rules that took affect in September. They include 990 instructional hours required for middle school students over the course of a school year of at least 180 days.

New Rochelle says it failed to schedule properly, and middle schoolers are 100 hours short of what’s required, reported CBS2’s Tony Aiello.

“Somebody dropped the ball. That’s unbelievable!” said parent George Coyle.

“No one in the building had it in their portfolio to make sure it didn’t happen. Changes came and were adopted in July, and there was no conversation about the changes at that time,” said Interim Superintendent Dr. Magda Parvey.

District leaders say former superintendent Brian Osborne failed to make sure the change was implemented before he left in October.

To increase their hours in school, middle school students will complete finals June 26th instead of June 21st. They’ll still be short of the required hours, so the district faces a loss of state aid that could total several hundred thousand dollars.

The state Education Department says hundreds of New York districts were subject to these new instructional hour rules, and New Rochelle is the only district that has missed the mark.


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