School’s out for the summer but one local district is already talking about plans for next year.
Those plans include a longer school day.
When students in the Cohoes City School District return for the 2018-2019 school year, they’ll be spending a little more time in the classroom.
“We are committed to increasing student achievement and we know that when our students are with us in class they are learning, they are achieving, they are growing as learners, we would just like more time,” Cohoes Superintendent Jennifer Spring said.
School leaders and teachers have agreed on a new contract that will lengthen the school day.
As of right now, the deal will be in effect through the 2020-2021 school year and it will apply to all grade levels.
“The length of our elementary day was pretty short it was five hours and 50 minutes and now with the additional 35 minutes, we will be at six hours and 25 minutes.”
Spring says the additional time in the elementary school will be devoted to daily lessons in science and social studies.
Previously, there was not enough time in the school day to teach both subjects every day.
Middle and high schoolers will go from a six hours and 25 minute school day to six hours and 45 minutes.
The additional time will be divided to extend each class period equally, resulting in 47 minute periods.
“We’re very grateful to our Cohoes teachers because they value education for our students they were committed to working longer. So it was collaborative and it’s teamwork on behalf of our students.”
Spring says the more time the students spend in the classroom, the more successful they will be.
She says with increased curriculum requirements, teachers need additional time to effectively teach the standards.
She adds that Cohoes hasn’t changed the length of their school day in more than 50 years.
“When we looked at the length of our school day across elementary, middle and high school we found that we had one of the shortest school days across the Capital Region. It was definitely time to begin the conversations.”
Under this same contract, the teachers will receive a yearly salary increase of two percent in order to be compensated for the longer day.