New Haven officials consider extending school day - WFSB 3 Connecticut

New Haven officials consider extending school day

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New Haven officials consider extending school day (WFSB) New Haven officials consider extending school day (WFSB)

More class time could soon be in store for some students in New Haven.

School officials are considering extending the school day at three of its schools.

Right now, the students at the Clinton Avenue School get out just before 3 p.m. each day, but starting next fall, the fifth and sixth grade students could find themselves going to 6 p.m. each evening.

"I definitely think it’s a good idea. I think they're out of school a lot more than they are in these days,” said parent Megan Desenti.

Her son Thomas is a fourth grade student and would be one of the students staying in class a little later next year.

The proposal would have the city team up with Citizens Schools, a non-profit based out of Boston, to lengthen the school days at Clinton Avenue, Wexler-Grant, and Bishop Woods.

"The idea is more time on task will be helpful to the young.  This is one way you increase the number of hours of instruction that young people get,” said New Haven Mayor Toni Harp.

It is a public-private partnership, and the city would be on the hook for $1,200 per student.

AmeriCorps teaching fellows would provide the instruction for the classwork on science, technology, and math, while “citizen teachers” would provide hands-on apprenticeships from their careers and expertise.

"He does the after school program and I think it would be perfect having extended school day rather than an after school program. He'd get more curriculum than he would electives,” Desenti added.

The idea is three-fold, with more instruction time designed to help close the achievement gap.

The longer day will keep students off the streets, and the later dismissal will help with parents not having to worry about child care.

"I think it’s really important for our school system to think about the modern family and the situation they're in. Often they don't get home until 5 or 6 in the evening and this is another way to keep their kids safe, learning, and having fun all at the same time,” Harp said.

The city has a memorandum of understanding in place with the non-profit, and still needs approval from the Board of Alderman.

New Haven officials said they hope to have a final agreement in place this spring.

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