More school districts come up with walkout makeup plan

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The Peoria Unified School District Board agreed to not add extra days to the end of the school year. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The Peoria Unified School District Board agreed to not add extra days to the end of the school year. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
"Looking at all of the variables, adding an hour on to the school day seemed to have the least amount of impact," explained Danielle Airey. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) "Looking at all of the variables, adding an hour on to the school day seemed to have the least amount of impact," explained Danielle Airey. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
High school parents are concerned if it'll impact students who have after-school jobs. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) High school parents are concerned if it'll impact students who have after-school jobs. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PEORIA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

More school districts are announcing their plans to make up for lost instruction because of the six-day Arizona teacher walkout to demand higher pay and a permanent solution to adequately funding education. 

The Peoria Unified School District Board agreed to not add extra days to the end of the school year. Monday night, they voted to add an extra hour to each school day starting Wednesday, May 9 and ending Thursday, May 24. 

[RELATED: Some districts now extending school year after teacher walkout]

Peoria Unified School District's spokeswoman Danielle Airey said the board and district took into account the social media posts and 5,000 emails they've received from concerned parents. 

"Looking at all of the variables, adding an hour on to the school day seemed to have the least amount of impact," explained Airey. “What we know is that there’s no perfect calendar. We’re doing the very best we can in a situation that’s been not only challenging but has been something unprecedented and we haven’t seen before."

[RELATED: Teacher walkout officially over after Gov. Ducey signed education bills]

"I think it's a great idea," said mom Cheryle Griffin. "My kids didn’t want to add days." 

Other parents, like Salina Villanueva, dislike the idea.

"She (Salina's daughter) has after-school activities that would be affected that were prepaid that I can’t get my money back for," she explained.

Other high school parents are concerned if it'll impact students who have after-school jobs.

Airey addressed those concerns later Tuesday afternoon.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona schools in crisis]

"We will be working with families of our students to make sure everyone is successful. This will be communicated to everyone who has a concern about needing to be checked out early due to the schedule change. We won't be penalizing kids who need to leave for a specific reason and it's approved by a parent," she added.

Officials with the Litchfield Elementary School District told AZ Family students won't need to stay extra days or hours, but teachers will. To avoid keeping them past the scheduled last day of school, the district is offering teachers to work weekends.

"The last day of school for students in Litchfield Elementary School District remains Friday, May 25, 2018. Plans for eighth-grade promotions and other year-end celebrations have not changed. In an effort to provide flexibility, our teachers have been offered 11 professional development opportunities to make up the six days that must be worked before May 31, 2018. Eight of the 11 days fall on weekends," according to the district's e-mailed response.

The Tempe Elementary School District announced it will extend the school year.

Airey explained plans vary district-to-district because of calendars set sometimes three years in advance. Some school districts have already exceeded their state-mandated instructional hours, while others don't because of scheduled breaks or early release days. 

The Arizona Department of Education officials explained each grade level has its own instruction hours requirements.

"For example, a kindergartener only needs 356 hours, whereas an eighth-grader needs1,200 hours of instruction," said ADE public information officer Stefan Swiat.

"A school that does not fulfill its required hours could find its state aid affected," he added. "In addition, per statute, students need to complete the necessary amount of instructional hours in order to be promoted to the next grade." 

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Maria HechanovaMaria’s last name is pronounced HETCH-UH-NO-VAH. She joined the 3TV/CBS 5 News team in July 2017, but is no stranger to Arizona.

Click to learn more about Maria.

Maria Hechanova

Prior to moving to Phoenix, she spent four years in Tucson reporting for KOLD News 13 and KMSB FOX 11 covering wildfires, VA transportation issues, and Southern Arizona's largest school district.

Before that, she worked for WLNS-TV, the CBS affiliate in Lansing, Michigan where she learned a lot about the auto industry and almost never took off her parka.

Maria also reported in Yuma where she had the incredible opportunity to fly with the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels and cover countless military homecomings.

She got her start at KPHO in 2008 as a college intern and is happy to be back and working with professionals who helped shape her career.

Shortly after college, Maria landed an internship with the TODAY Show in New York City thanks to the help of the Asian American Journalists Association.

She graduated from Northern Arizona University where she was also a member of the women's swimming and diving team.

Maria grew up in the Valley and went to Ironwood High School in Glendale.

When not reporting the news, she’s hunting for the best carne asada tacos or bowl of pho, swimming laps, or hanging out with her USMC veteran husband and rescued Shih Tzu.

In addition to Facebook and Twitter, you also can find Maria at @MariaHechanovaTV on Instagram.

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