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TELL US: Will Longer School Days Help?

Massachusetts is one of five states to add 300 hours of class time every year for certain schools. Will it help?

Will more time in school translate into greater student achievement?

Federal and state officials announced Monday that Massachusetts, along with Connecticut, New York, Tennessee and Colorado, are participating in a pilot program to find out.

Csmonitor.com reports that the program will add at least 300 hours of learning time in some schools starting next fall. 

Fall River and Lawrence are the two Massachusetts towns included in the pilot project. Boston.com reports that this new program adds to an effort launched six years ago in Massachusetts to lengthen the school day in several school districts.

The pilot program reportedly will last three years and include almost 20,000 students in 40 schools with an eye to bringing in more schools if it is effective, particularly lower-performing schools in lower-income communities. Each school district gets to decide exactly how the school time will be increased: longer school days? More of them? Both?

The pilot is part of a project called the TIME (Time for Innovation Matters in Education) Collaborative, a partnership between the Ford Foundation and the National Center on Time & Learning (NCTL). 

What do you think? Tell us in the comments.

ammazoli December 04, 2012 at 11:21 AM
Learning happens at home as well, or rather, it should. Our children are not yet in elementary school, but when the time comes, we want our kids to have time to spend with us.
Medfield resident December 04, 2012 at 02:47 PM
I agree these half days and full days off are not good for the children and I find they are disruptive to my son. In addition 10 weeks summer vacation is way too long for the children, my child starts getting bored after 6 weeks. Other countries only have 6 weeks vacation time.
Stacey Meninno December 04, 2012 at 04:28 PM
More school time is great if there is less (or no) homework. In that case the kids can actually relax and enjoy the rest of the day.
Westborough Graduate December 04, 2012 at 07:26 PM
What about considering block scheduling rather than longer school days? Rather than having six classes a day, focus on only three a day, but for two hours each. This allows for more in depth projects and lectures, prepares kids more for the college schedule, and allows them days of reprieve from certain classes they do not enjoy. It also allows for homework to not be constant, but for kids to have a day off from biology homework every other day and allows them to focus fully on their math homework instead. I do not believe making the school day longer is a viable option. Maybe making the school year longer is a better way to go. Sports need those day light hours and students need some time to complete their homework outside of class. If schools do not get out until four, that not only jeopardizes sports but also family time, which is important too.
Concerned Mom December 04, 2012 at 08:29 PM
The Advanced Math and Science Academy in Marlboro has a longer day by one hour and it appears to work extremely well. School starts at 8:05 and ends at 3:15 for grades 6-12.

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