Five Christchurch principals whose schools could be merged have written to the Minister of Education asking for more time to respond to the proposal.
A secondary, intermediate and three primary schools in the suburb of Aranui are among 30 schools which could close or merge.
Aranui High School principal John Rohs says a deadline of the first week of December does not give the schools nearly enough time to consider the proposals, consult with each other and their communities and come up with a meaningful response.
On top of that, his school is in the middle of preparing students for exams and they have had very little time to devote to the issue.
Mr Rohs hopes Education Minister Hekia Parata will give the schools until the end of June next year to respond.
A spokesperson for Ms Parata says a written response has been sent to the principals and should arrive this week, but would not comment any further at this stage.