Longer school day for students at one city high school
Posted at: 05/23/2012 10:52 AM
| Updated at: 05/23/2012 5:43 PM
By: Christine VanTimmeren | WHEC.com
Big changes coming this September to one of the Rochester City high schools and it looks like many students are on board. School leaders at Northeast College Preparatory want to lengthen the school day to 12 hours and have kids in school on Saturday.
The idea came from a Wegmans executive and it was approved Tuesday night by the Rochester City School Board.
The 12 hours at school doesn’t mean the students will be sitting at a desk for that long. Those 12 hours include time in class, extracurricular activities, three meals and time spent with tutors.
At Northeast College Preparatory High School classes start at 8:30 a.m. and wrap up around 3:00p.m. The school prides itself on academic rigor, high expectations and quality instruction.
Junior Amir Rogers said, “The longer you’re in school actually doing something to expand your mind, that’s helping you in the long run.”
But academic rigor is going to take on new meaning come September.
Principal Mary Aronson said, “At first they said, ‘Oh you’re crazy for wanting us to he here for 12 hours.’”
Twelve hours from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00p.m. Students said when they first heard that, they were worried.
Rogers said, “12 hours is a lot, but now we found out that it's not going to be class, class, class, it's going to be class. And for example we have AP statistics and then we'll have a tutor that will help us with that class.”
The school also plans to offer more electives to break the day up.
Rogers said, “We are supposed to have a dance class.”
Aronson said, “I think it's a very ambitious project. I’m thrilled that we're going to be able to move forward with it.”
Ambitious because not only are the school days longer, but there’s also school on Saturdays and the school year will be 11 months.
Rogers said, “11 months is a long time, but at the same time usually. The more time you're out of school the more trouble you can get into.”
Junior Frank Donalds said, “If you want to go the next level and go to college you have to sacrifice something.“
Aronson said, “Once we unpacked that a little bit for them and explained what the different opportunities are going to be they were like ‘Oh okay I can see myself doing that.’”
Rogers said, “It still will be a long day, but it will have more fun. It will make kids and students want to come to school.
If students don’t want to be a part of this new model, school leaders said they would have to handle that on a case by case basis. School leaders say parents said they were especially excited because the school will offer students SAT prep courses as well as help filling out college FASFA forms.
School leaders do not plan to hire more people. They are hoping that community volunteers come forward. If, for instance, someone has experience teaching dance that community member could volunteer to do that for students. The same goes for tutors.
Would you send your children to a school where they would go 12 hours a day, six days a week, 11 months out of the year? Post your comments below or join the conversation on our Facebook page.