Should school days be longer?

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Ken Tothero (not verified)

I'll echo an earlier

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I'll echo an earlier comment. I think the duration of the school DAY is fine. It's the school YEAR that needs to be lengthened.
Carolann Carpenter (not verified)

Instead of longer days, all

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Instead of longer days, all schools should go to a year round system. Vacations would be in weeks, during all seasons. Nine weeks on, three weeks off....all year round.
Jo Beth Dempsey (not verified)

I teach at a school where

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I teach at a school where the day goes from 8:20 a.m. to 3:20 p.m., lunch included in that time frame. Some parents drop their kids off at school very early, sometimes at 7:15 a.m. in the morning, because they have to be at work by 7:30 a.m. We have a supervisor who is there for the children who come early--she takes them to the lunchroom at 7:40 a.m. Then they can sit and visit or have breakfast until 8:05 a.m., when they go into their rooms. Classes officially start at 8:20 a.m. At first we all grumbled and moaned about the extra 20 min. tacked onto our schedule. But now we are so used to it and the teachers like the extra time, especially if there was some concept/lesson the students need more help or explanation in, they have that time. Our students spend approximately 6 1/2 hours in the classroom (lunch is not included in this timeframe). Does it help? If our NWEA scores are any indication, yes it does. Our kids have scored high in reading and math. We will be adding K-1 testing next year, as well as a science component for the older students. We also have gym and music every day. We are the only school in our district that has this. Art classes are every Wednesday and the students go to the media center once a week (K-2: 30 min., 3-6: 45 min.). We can do this because of the extra 20 min. tacked on to our day.
Ann (not verified)

I do believe the school day

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I do believe the school day should be longer. In Texas we have long ago lost recess due to time pressures. Recess is a necessary time for students to learn and implement their social skills. Additionally, a longer school day would help out many of the children with diverse interests. I would propose that children be required to take the basic subjects, but then should be allowed into subjects where their interests drive them. Having access to various subjects like music, art, computer design, etc., would better prepare them for the future. Further, with a longer day parents would not have the added expense of day care.
Paula Calabrese (not verified)

Although additional time on

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Although additional time on task is extremely important, I believe we must first make the very best use of the time we currently have available to us. Lots of time is wasted on housekeeping duties, interruptions, announcements, lack of focused lessons, assemblies without relationship to classroom instruction and other types of non-instructional activities. The time wasters need to be systematically identified, evaluated and acted upon. An extended school year, however has merit and should be fully considered as a way to eliminate the regression that often occurs when children have no formal instruction in core subjects for the summer months.
Darolene Brown (not verified)

I do not believe that the

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I do not believe that the length of the school day is the problem. We need to rethink the rigid bell schedules that we are on and move to more project-based and/or problem based learning. The school day and periods need to be more flexible to accommodate learning. I have had classes that are thoroughly immersed in a project and what happens, the bell rings, and everyone has to run to the next class, the learning cycle is broken up until the next day. We need to revamp the school day all together, not just lengthen or shorten it.
Sharon Bodley (not verified)

By the time you get students

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By the time you get students off the bus, into hall, out of their coats, boots, hats and mittens, take attendance, collect lunch and field trip money; you have lost 45 minutes of a 6 hour day. Now, take away the time for recess - because kids DO need to play, lunch and play time - getting ready for art class, gym class, bathroom breaks, coats on for going home (don't forget the hats, gloves, putting notes in the backpacks, helping them put on the backpacks. . . you are down to 4.5 hrs of seat time per day. That is JUST seat time - not instruction, practice, coaching, handing out papers time. Now, multiply that by 176 days, subtract the afternoons lost to Holloween, Valentine's, Christmas, Lincoln's Birthday, and other "parties" and what do you have left? Oh - I forgot the "specialists" who have come for the small group tutoring and other services required - so how much time do I spend teaching? No where near as much as I spend preparing, grading, meeting with parents, principals, specialists and others. So - please can I have just 30 minutes more of uninterrupted time?
Christine (not verified)

I feel that the solution

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I feel that the solution would be more days in school, not more hours in the day. Students are burned out at the end of the day, as are teachers. In addition, if the days were longer, when would teachers get any grading done or prepare for the next day? I certainly don't want to be at school from 7:00 in the morning to 7:00 at night five days a week! I feel that a year long schedule, with breaks spread out through the year would be best. We could plop a few more days in the schedule and students would have breaks often enough that they wouldn't be completely burned out.
William E. Rikard (not verified)

It really isn't a matter of

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It really isn't a matter of the amount of time as much as it is about how available time is used/allocated during a school day. Many schools continue to schedule non-academic time into the regular school day that could be placed into time frames before and after regular school hours. Schools willing to take an honest and reflective look at how instructional time is currently being used could find some surprising results as to how much of that time is lost due to decades old ideas of time management in school systems.
Suzanne Howell Robinson (not verified)

Asking ALL students to

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Asking ALL students to attend longer hours would only be beneficial if it were done on a grouping basis. Those students who are achieving above grade level and beyond should be pulled into AP or enrichment classes. Students performing below grade level should be pulled into targeted groups to concentrate on specific problems. This would be a good use of Teach for America applicants. They would bring enthusiasm and fresh ideas to benefit both groups.
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