Parents concerned over New Jersey school's plan to cut class time for rest of school year

MONTCLAIR, New Jersey (WABC) -- Parents in New Jersey are speaking out after their kids are set to lose hours of instructional time at school in favor of up to three hours of study hall each day.

The changes at Montclair High School will go into effect while the school district shutters the main building for asbestos removal and to repair broken stairwells that collapsed in the 100-plus-year-old structure last fall.

More than 1,600 students will be moved to the freshman building and parents say it has created a new class schedule that will be in place for the last five weeks of the year.

"They've canceled final exams because they are going to gain five instructional days by not having prep and final exams," parent Patrice Noyes said.

Parents say the plan includes, for example, one day, every four days, where most kids will receive only 90 minutes' worth of teaching for the entire day and 3-hour study halls.

"Any sort of scheduling plan that leaves students in classes maybe less than 50 percent of their time in school and is using the gym as a big warehouse of students is not a reasonable plan," parent Bonu deCaires said.

Parents are speaking out to each other and on their Family Forum Facebook page. They want the board to weigh other options -- and they say there are better options.

"Pay the money to get this project done in the summer," deCaires said.

Some parents have taken their concerns to the state's education commission and even the governor. They say they want their voices heard before a final decision is made.

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