Longer School Days Coming to Select Mass. Schools

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

Will more time in school translate into greater student achievement?

Federal and state officials are announcing today 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 cities 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 about this pilot project? Is this is a constructive approach to improving student achievement? Would you like to see this happen in Peabody?

Anne Manning-Martin December 03, 2012 at 08:55 PM I have attached minutes from a meeting of Peabody's Extended Day Committee of 2006. Peabody studied this issue thoroughly several years ago for a full year, with much community input and participation. We also received guidance from Mass2020 in our planning. There remains a viable plan to Extend Learning Time should Peabody decide to take this step. The work on the plan is done and was well thought out. There is no need to start from square one in developing a plan but rather start tackling the other obstacles involved in its implementation, again, should Peabody ultimately decide to take the step.
John Castelluccio December 03, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Thanks for sharing that information, Anne.
Kathleen December 04, 2012 at 12:16 AM
I sat on the extended day committee as an elementary school parent representative. A lot of work was done. I have to tell you that unfortunately the teachers and the majority of parents at the school my children attended were totally against it. It was very disappointing to be met with such resistance. Peabody lost out on a grant that could have helped to improve MCAS and SAT performance in our schools. I hope they take a second look and realize the great benefit that could be had.
Jeff F. December 06, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Sorry..but, if it is left to Peabody to make this decision, it will NEVER happen here. Peabody is notoriously cheap and short-sighted. There is zero (I repeat ZERO)chance they would take on the additional costs (electricity, heat, AC, janitors, secretaries, teachers, security guards etc). I have been in this city a looong time, and I am 150% sure of one thing: residents of this city care wayyyy more about low taxes than having a good school system. I don't agree with that stance, but it is what it is. Oh well.


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