Some states are lengthening the school day.

tobr24u(z6 RI)December 4, 2012

According to an NPR report these states believe it will improve learning. Methinks that they have run out of ways to improve test scores and this is an act of desperation. Perhaps you agree with me...

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mrskjun(9)

hmmm, we've done away with recess and phys ed programs, cut back on art and music, and sports. Wonder why our kids are obese so we are going to stick them behind a desk for an extra three months. Kids can learn in the summer too. It doesn't have to be in a classroom.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 6:46AM
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jerzeegirl(9)

It's my understanding that the program is for extended hours during the school year.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 7:31AM
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momj47(7A)

Not a bad idea, and something needs to change. Farm work and summer harvest is not a big deal in most school districts any more, so we certainly need to move away from the current school calendars.

We probably need to rethink the whole system, based as it is on out of date ideas and needs, especially with current budget constraints.

But of course they won't. We'll probably be doing the same thing well into the next 50 or 100 years, even if it's not working for our children.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 7:55AM
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hamiltongardener(CAN 6a)

In the adult world, the most productive workers over the long term are the ones who have ample time to rest and recharge. Generous vacation time and avoiding excessive overtime keeps human beings from burning out.

I believe it works the same way with our kids. Increasing the school day and eliminating their summer vacation will only lead to kids burning out faster... more pressure... less recharge time. Look what has been happening as kids have had more and more pressure to go to university than in the past. As a higher percentage (almost all) of kids are pressured to take advanced courses and go to university, higher percentages of them are failing that goal miserably. Many kids struggle to just finish high school. Do we want to stick them in a desk for even longer periods of time? Raise the burnout rate so that only the strongest survive? Think the teen/young adult suicide rate is bad now?

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 8:19AM
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chase_gw

I think the school day could stand to be increased a little but not extended into the summer. Mind you I can't see the teachers going for that any time soon....

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 8:28AM
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rob333

Lengthening the school day as the current school day stands currently? Bad idea. Lengthen it and round out the curriculum so as to actually teach a student to think, feel, create, expand? Good idea. It's not the length of time that is problem. It's like throwing good money after bad. It's the endless pouring over past tests to memorize them that is mind-numbing and wrong.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 8:33AM
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jillinnj

Exaclty, Rob. The problem is school is teaching our kids to take standardized tests instead of how to think and be creative.

School is extremely important. But, being a kid and having time to play and engage in activities they enjoy (sports, music, building things, whatever) is just as important.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 8:45AM
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markjames

Al the valuable and marketable knowledge and skills I have were learned from parents, relatives, mentors, business associates, friends, family friends, work experience, self education, trial and error - not from teachers.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 9:46AM
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rob333

Too bad you couldn't get it from all sources. I learned a lot from the same sources and from school. Sometimes, school was all I had. And the same could be said for learning hard lessons. They come from both sources, sometimes, even from teachers. But to say that teachers don't play a role in a child's rounded upbringing is fairly naive. We don't live in a vacuum.

Or were you saying they should memorize test and score well as the target for which they're aiming (and completely missing. Still)?

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 10:06AM
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david52 Zone 6

I hope this doesn't turn into yet another 'one size fits all' school reforms. Kids learn at different speeds, some take longer to grasp a concept, others get it quickly and get bored silly sitting in a classroom waiting for the bulb to light for the slower kids.

On NPR, some guy was talking about inner-city schools in Chicago, and that almost all the hundreds of kids who've been shot over the past 10 years have that happen between 3:30 pm - when they're let out of school - and 5:30, when they get home. Keep them in school longer and save their lives.

Four years ago, our school district went to a four-day week, with a 2 week longer year and 30 minute longer days. Very popular with the kids and teachers, as you can imagine. Then the state sorta 'hinted' strongly that they need to go back to a 5 day week. A quarter of the teachers quit, because that shorter week was the key element that they liked about teaching here, they got a 3 day weekend to enjoy the outdoor opportunities or get in some time on a 2nd job.

We're now on a schedule where the elementary kids have to be at school at 7:40 am, go until 3:00 pm, the middle and high schools start at 9:00 am and end at 4:15 pm. Previously, the middle and high schools started at 7:20 am, but someone finally listened to all the research about how teenagers aren't worth a whole lot early in the morning. And I don't have to get up at 5:30 am to get the kids on the school bus at 6:15 am.

As for exercise, one of my kids teachers was a firm believer in having the kids walk or jog the entire time they were at recess, and if the weather permitted, she had them out for 10 minute walks two or three times each day as a break. I've seen that elsewhere, and it makes sense to me.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 10:32AM
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hamiltongardener(CAN 6a)

We're now on a schedule where the elementary kids have to be at school at 7:40 am, go until 3:00 pm, the middle and high schools start at 9:00 am and end at 4:15 pm. Previously, the middle and high schools started at 7:20 am, but someone finally listened to all the research about how teenagers aren't worth a whole lot early in the morning.

See, I thought that was because they could use the same school busses if they staggered the schedule. Instead of hiring 40 bus drivers to work 1.5 hours in the morning, they can hire 20 bus drivers, have them spend 3 hours doing the elementary kids first then the high school routes after. Less busses in the fleet to repair, maintain and insure, etc.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 10:41AM
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david52 Zone 6

The busses do the routes twice in the morning and afternoon. There's plenty of room on the busses, I thought they did this because they didn't want to mix the elementary kids with the older high school kids.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 10:45AM
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chisue

Some public grammar school days are extremely short. Even if no additional three R's are added, it would help to allow children more than 20 minutes to eat lunch and some time to run around outdoors or in a gym. Add some PE and music/art/woodworking classes.

This old grandmother remembers walking or riding her bike eight blocks to grammar school; going home for lunch; going back to school; walking home again. (Only bad weather changed that schedule; someone's mother would drive.) We had brief recesses too, almost always outdoors. We had PE a couple times a week. In 7th & 8th Grades we also had art/music twice a week. (Not going home to lunch by then; more mothers working. We still had 45 mins. to eat and go outside.)

Longer school days should not be all about adding desk time. Kids and teachers need a less pressured day to do good work.

IMO Arnie Duncan is no genius, but even a fool can do some good things, some of the time.

I'd like to see fewer kids pushed into colleges and a high school diploma that means something more than 'time served'. Most jobs do not utilize anyone's post-secondary education.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 10:52AM
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marquest(z5 PA)

I like the idea. I think we should train our kids that a work day is longer. Children are not learning from their parents as much because they are to busy or on the Iphone, Ipad, and only concerned with I.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 11:03AM
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hamiltongardener(CAN 6a)

The busses do the routes twice in the morning and afternoon.

Yes, I used just the morning as an example. What I was trying to say was that they can hire 20 full time (30-40 hours) bus drivers by staggering the schedules instead of 40 part time drivers(15-20 hours)

There's plenty of room on the busses, I thought they did this because they didn't want to mix the elementary kids with the older high school kids.

The busses are heading to two different locations, one to the high school and one to the elementary. I assume, anyway. Do you live in a smaller town where the high school and elementary school are together or on the same grounds?

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 11:05AM
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mrskjun(9)

That is the reason here hg. They stagger take in and let out times so the same busses can do triple duty.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 11:15AM
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october17(5chgo)

I hear you marquest. I makes me sad when I see a parent out with a kid but all they're doing is talking on a cell phone. Not talking with the kid.

I think parents should be required to put in time at the schools. Evenings, weekends, tutoring, whatever. Parents are just not involved in the kids education anymore. Bet you I can count with the fingers on one hand how many baby daddies sit down with their kids to do/check homework even once a week. In Chicago schools, there are way more baby daddies than there are fathers.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 11:43AM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

I would be all for a longer school day if it meant adding more recess time. Currently, my 3rd grader gets 15 minutes after lunch for recess and that is it. PE is also just once a week.

I think a 4 day week would be absolutely awesome. I personally also think the year round schedules are great with 3 months on and break in between but most areas where I lived, the parents seem to fight it tooth and nail. I have no idea why.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 11:47AM
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adoptedbyhounds

Hmmmmm....
I wonder where they got the idea for 300 additional hours.
That's going to cost a lot of money.

You can stay in school longer, but if your classroom environment is disrupted by misbehaving students (who get worse as the day wears on) it's a waste of time and money.

Seems to me that kids who need to learn in an orderly environment are not going to benefit from being in school for more hours. They need smaller classes and more individual instruction. That's where I would put the money if it were up to me. That, and a mandatory after school homework program for kids who aren't getting their homework done at home. Some may lack motivation, and others may not have anyone to help them. Either way, they need to do their homework in order to master the subject. It can't be optional.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 12:39PM
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Circus Peanut

Where are they going to get the money to increase teachers' salaries to pay them for 12 instead of 9/10 months? Most people don't seem to realize that very many teachers depend for their economic survival on the income of a second job during those 2 or 3 unpaid summer months. Unless we increase staff pay quite a bit to compensate, good luck keeping even the caliber of teachers we have right now.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 1:06PM
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rob333

I check homework every night, but I'm not a dad ;)

What I am sick to death of is the school trying to say that you need to be involved with your child on their time schedule. Would they be able to come meet with me at my office during their work day? Do they get their cars worked on during their 20 minute lunch time? I wish they'd quit having PTA meetings, social gatherings, etc. during school hours only. And then trying to say people aren't involved. I can't come. Not I don't want to come. I bet I'm not alone. How is involvment measured? I don't talk on my phone, nor have a tablet, ipad, spend time on the computer at home when he's around, but that doesn't make me involved. It's too trite to say it's electronics. There are parents who wouldn't care to be involved even if electronics didn't exist. You know what my ex said the last time I handed him the boy's papers to go over one night during kindergarten? Just tell me what is important. I bet he's not alone. We're bombarded with papers, emails, phone calls, activities... All the time. I get an email from every teacher at least once a week. Then the PTA. Then the school's parents' agenda.... It never ends. It's not the school's fault either, but that is one hard to define goal.

I can tell you why they fight year round tishtoshnm. Or at least my reason. Chilcare issues. I'd go to year round, if the peripheral providers did too. I can do it now that my son can get to/from school, but before, I could only do what the after/before care providers did.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 1:15PM
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jerzeegirl(9)

Here is the source of the original story so people can get their facts straight.

Call me crazy but it sounds like a good idea to me.

Here is a link that might be useful: source

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 1:36PM
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david52 Zone 6

Hg - this is a rural district, so the buses are out and about the country side then drive to town, the schools aren't that far apart - heck the whole town is about a mile long x 1/2 a mile wide. But the bus routes can start 25 miles away from town.

They actually have some special class release schedule for the middle school to avoid fights and mayhem - some classes let out 10 minutes early, the kids hop on the buses, the buses go to the high school and pick up kids there then return to the middle school, pick up the next group, then head on out. Picture 20 buses doing this, along with the parents picking up their kids and at the high school, all the 16 yr old drivers tearing out of the parking lot screeching their tires..... When I need to pick up DD for anything, I park a few blocks away and ask her to walk and meet me.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 2:21PM
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hamiltongardener(CAN 6a)

They actually have some special class release schedule for the middle school to avoid fights and mayhem - some classes let out 10 minutes early, the kids hop on the buses, the buses go to the high school and pick up kids there then return to the middle school, pick up the next group, then head on out.

Wow, that's a pretty messed up schedule.

There must have been some pretty bad mayhem previously to make them try that kind of scheduling. Was there a certain trigger point? Some really bad brawls amongst the kids to make them try this?

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 7:23PM
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david52 Zone 6

I just checked with DD - she sez I got it all wrong, its that half the buses start loading at the high school then go to the middle school, and the other half starts at the middle school then hits the high school.

We have about 30 buses. They all kinda look alike after a while.

/finely attuned to school activity parent here.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 8:08PM
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chisue

My DIL taught junior high in Englewood (inner city Chicago). The lower grades started school earlier and were let out earlier. They needed time to get home before the high school kids were on the streets.

See: "The Wire". (It's set in Baltimore, but same thing.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 11:09AM
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marquest(z5 PA)

What I am sick to death of is the school trying to say that you need to be involved with your child on their time schedule. Would they be able to come meet with me at my office during their work day?

Are you saying your son's schools do not have evening meetings?

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 11:42AM
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jerzeegirl(9)

Chisue: According to the interview I posted above (which I heard on the radio a few days ago) in Chicago there were two students being murdered each month. They discovered that almost all of these murders were taking place between 3pm and 7pm when students were most at risk. This is one of the major reasons that they would like to extend the school day - so the kids stay out of trouble.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 11:51AM
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rob333

Rarely. Donuts with Dads, coffee time, PTA meetings are at "lunch time" (which doesn't work for me since it takes me 10 minutes to walk to my car, 20 minutes to drive over there, 20 minutes to drive back, 10 minutes back to the office from the car, and that leaves how much time? None? So what's the point. And that's if I have an hour to spare.), etc. Luckily, band concerts are at night. Award ceremonies? Never been able to go. And my son gets awards, sometimes. They have no concern for anyone but themselves. Ok, maybe they are trying to accommodate night workers. Who knows?

But, this is my beef, I've had a teacher this year try to tell me that she quit helping my son, after moving him to her study hall so she could "help him" (read, shove him into her incredibly square hole for students. And he's an oval), because I told her he couldn't (not wouldn't) do the agenda her way, saying we'd tried it for years, and no I couldn't come meet with her right then. She tried to say I didn't care and that she would no longer help him (after two whole weeks) since I wouldn't "back her at home". And she means it. Just for instance. Ridiculous? She's not alone and it's not the first time. Am I glad I have an oval? Hell yea! He's a smart kid, he'll be solving problems adults have been working on for decades, no doubt. He's a Homer Hickam kind of guy. She can have her square students.

Thank goodness it's not behavioral problems or I'd be out of a job going over there trying to solve something teachers in classrooms should be equipped to handle (and how is a parent supposed to parent in their classroom? Never figured that one out!). Have a problem with your child? It won't get solved after/before hours. And it won't get solved at all unless you come on their terms only.

I've even been known to offer to talk with them over lunch on a weekend. Nope. This is an ongoing problem. I set up IEP for a reason. Getting the school to comply, not really. It's like having a restraining order but the cops never come. Some help. It's a good thing my son's problems aren't that serious and he'll figure it out eventually. His grades suffer, but it's not terminal.

And you/they need to talk about something, you're supposed to come there in person during the school day. How is it not also disrupting the entire class if you come? I don't know. But I do know it's disruptive to my office. I can email all day long and get work problems solved. Not with school. Luckily, the principal is an awesome person and will help when I need her to do so.

This post was edited by rob333 on Wed, Dec 5, 12 at 14:21

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 12:19PM
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chisue

The best answer I can come up with is public boarding schools. The inner city streets are not safe. Kids grow up in an inherited subculture that goes back generations. They never see another way. They never see anything more than eight blocks away from the address on their welfare checks. Few live with a parent. Many don't know their parents.

We'd save lives AND money. The corporations running our prisons would hate this.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 2:35PM
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