Some TN Students to Have Longer School Hours in 2013

(Memphis) Children can get restless by the end of a school day, but that school day may be getting even longer for some students in Tennessee.

As part of a learning initiative across five states, some Tennessee schools will be adding more hours.

It’s something Ronnie Mackin knows a little bit about, “We have had an extended school day since day one.”

He’s with the Achievement School District that’s working to turn the bottom five percent of Tennessee schools into the top 25.

One of them is Westside Middle.

Last year, students got out at 2:30 p.m. Now, they get out at 4:30 p.m.

“I think there was a little bit of push back at first from the kids because the kids weren’tused to it but now they don`t know any different and they really like it,” said Mackin.

Mackin says the extra hour allows for activities besides academics, like dance and music as well as computer and science labs and it keeps struggling students in class longer, helping them accomplish more and stay out of trouble.

It’s why five states, including Tennessee, are adding extra hours to some students’ school days.

Which schools?

We don’t know yet. But the participating districts will be adding 300 hours of classroom time for students in 2013.

Schools in Memphis expect to be included in the initiative. Mackin says, if so, students can expect to see the pay-off, “The United States is about 27th in math in the world and most of those countries above the United States have extended school days and extended school years.”

Memphis City Schools already has seven schools with longer hours.

The idea is also to raise the achievement levels there.

MCS says since the initiative just started this year so it’s too soon to tell if the project has been effective.

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