Longer School Year/Day Still an Option

Posted on October 31, 2010 by

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In 2009, President Barrack Obama stated that America’s academic level was lower than that of other countries. The United States serves 180 days a year in school while Japan serves 243 days a year. Obama hopes that having students attend school for a longer amount of time will help America’s upcoming leaders become academically equivalent to other countries.

“We can no longer afford an academic calendar designed when America was a nation of farmers who needed their children at home plowing the land at the end of each day,” stated by Obama in 2009, when the extension was first purposed.

With the economy in its current situation, our nation needs all the help it can get. Longer school years mean less information to be forgotten over the summer vacation.

Students Sam Miller, Alyssa Smith, and Karli Thomas all agree having a longer school day would be better than a longer school year. However, student Tj Dati would rather have a longer school year.

Said Tj Dati, “No, I wouldn’t have a problem with the extension—not at all.”

Walt Frankowski, a substitute at Fleetwood Area High School, believes that, if students would work more efficiently and make an effort to become more accomplished, then a longer school year or longer school day would not be needed.

However, staying in school longer or having longer school days would not make students more motivated. If school days were longer, students could lose focus as soon as the accustomed 2:30 dismissal time rolled around.

Superintendant Dr. Eaken sounded off on the issue: “The possibility of extending the school year is being raised because of the requirement that schools help all of their students attain proficiency on the state standards in order to graduate. An extended school year would address the need for additional instructional time to meet all of the state standards. Another option could be to change the school calendar so that there is not a long break in instruction over the summer that results in the need for review at the beginning of each school year.

“As the state goals for student achievement increase, all schools will need to find ways to address the needs of students to help them attain proficiency on the state standards. Research has shown that increasing instructional time increases student achievement. We will be looking into many different ways to address our students’ needs. Extending the school year is just one way to increase instructional time.”

Fleetwood’s future, however, is too early to foresee. At the moment, no aggressive gestures are being made to modify the length of the school year or school day.

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