The extended school day has been touted as a way to provide more opportunities for children in the workforce. However, some schools have seen an increase in absenteeism due to parents having conflicts and difficulties balancing their work hours with attending their child’s extracurricular activities. Moreover, working parents may find that they are less available when it comes time to pick up after hours so there is a mixed bag on this one.
The “reasons why school days should not be longer” is a blog post that discusses the pros and cons of extending school day for working parents.
Parents, what are you saying? Do you believe that the students need to attend class a little bit longer? You’re in luck since more and more school districts are deciding to introduce a longer school day in order to maximize its educational potential. Here are some things you need to know when weighing your choices if you find yourself contemplating enrolling your kid in an extended school program.
What does a longer school day entail?
Typically, grade schools dismiss students around 3:00 pm so that they may participate in extracurricular activities. The answer to this and a few other problems is to keep all kids in school until 4:00 or 4:30 pm. For working parents, this might present problems since there are still two more hours of work to do. This extra hour may be utilized to extend the school day by adding more time for extracurricular activities, language classes, or other enrichment programs that would otherwise be impossible to fit in, as well as more time for engaging pupils in each subject.
So families may benefit from lengthier school days?
No and yes. As with all changes in the way schools are organized, it undoubtedly has advantages and cons. Here are several to think about.
Children who spend more time in supportive, structured environments with mentors and role models have shown to perform better academically in areas where they are more likely to struggle. This is true in Washington, D.C. public schools, which began implementing longer school days in 2013 and saw significant gains in math and reading.
Additionally, parents profit since they pay less on daycare and are less concerned about their kids staying home after school to play video games excessively or getting into trouble. Between intense academic periods, there is more time throughout the day for extracurricular activities and outdoor play for kids. Lessons aren’t as crammed and there’s more time for understanding and depth in each topic, which instructors like since it helps students succeed.
Mandatory lessons until 4:30 may conflict with obligations for kids participating in extracurricular activities that are not related to school. Many child-focused programs use the assumption that kids leave school about 3:00 and arrange their activities accordingly, unless you live in a neighborhood where the majority of schools follow a similar schedule.
This timetable offers one fewer hour of pre-dinner play time for parents who like picking up their kids and organizing family activities, and it can mean that homework time creeps a bit later into the evening. You may need to reschedule family meals and schedules, and you’ll need to think of methods to assist your child in adjusting to a new school schedule. Teenagers who wish to “hang with their buddies” may object more than once depending on how old they are when they make the shift.
Expert educators state…
“It benefits everyone involved when cooperation between classroom instructors and after-school educators, teaching artists, and skilled volunteers is encouraged. According to a letter Lucy Friedman, president of ExpandED Schools, sent to the New York Times, “Teachers’ hours do not interfere with personal time, students are exposed to additional role models who frequently come from their neighborhoods and reflect their own backgrounds, and working parents know that their children are safe and engaged in hands-on learning during the afternoon hours.
The advantages, according to one Indiana teacher, extend beyond the classroom: “The longer school day enables us to be more flexible to include extra possibilities with our pupils, which ideally involves them in school and strengthens their character without losing too much lesson time,” says the principal.
The advantages of an extended school day for working parents is obvious, and data is steadily demonstrating that pupils also benefit. Consider relocating to one of these top 5 states with the greatest after-school programs, according to the After School Alliance, or look at our list of the top 6 cities for raising a family in 2017.
- California – Since a financing initiative was enacted in 2006, schools in California have greatly increased the scope of their programming, and 92% of parents are happy with the level of care provided by their afterschool program.
- District of Columbia – With 95% of parents pleased with the level of care provided by their afterschool program, the District ranks first in terms of afterschool program participation.
- – Florida Numerous school districts in Florida have embraced the PlusOne project, which extends the regular school day by one additional hour.
- Vermont – With its forward-thinking educational system, Vermont provides substantial opportunities for exploring your alternatives as the majority of institutions embracing longer school days are charter and private schools. The Vermont Legislature made a significant commitment to this potential in 2014 when it requested the formation of a Working Group on Equity and Access in Expanded Learning Time to evaluate the best course of action.
- Massachusetts – Another state that has expanded financing for after-school programs dramatically is Massachusetts, which has seen a large rise in the number of high-quality after-school programs offered. If you’re considering moving to a new city on the East Coast, Boston in particular boasts a number of schools offering longer school days.
Lastly? Make the transition simpler so you can concentrate on the kids! While you prepare your kids for their first day at a new school, the hard lifting will be handled by professional moving services. Everyone will be able to breathe a bit easier.
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