Bethel district restores school days: 'It was a surprise to everyone'

BETHEL, Ore. -- After two months of preparation, Miss Deblois is ready to welcome her new third grade class back to school. While some students in Bethel's schools might groan, Jennifer Deblois said she's happy that district officials are adding two more days to the 2013-14 year.

For three years district teachers have had to teach the same amount of material with 8 fewer days.

"We're adding back September 27th and June 13th," said Colt Gill, the superintendent of the Bethel School District. "While we added back 2, we're still short 6 school days for our students in this district."

Deblois said that the extra days will come in handy as class size has grown an average of 10 kids per classroom.

"It was a surprise to everyone and we were really excited," Deblois said of the added calendar days.

"Maybe we're gonna start looking at a more positive aspect of education and what we really need to do our jobs well and for our students to get what they need," Deblois added.

With each school day costing the district roughly $165,000, Gill said the move reinvests around $330,000 back into the district.

"I think its nice to see the state reinvesting in schools and saying to our greater community that our kids are important and we need to focus our resources on our kids."