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Axe Longer School Days and Add Teacher Collaboration Time

Lessons from a School That Axed Longer School Days to Focused on Teacher Collaboration

In 2010, a school in New Haven, CT, took one of its lowest-performing schools, extended the school day to 4:15 p.m. -- and did not see any improvement. 

According to The Hechinger Report, Principal Karen Lott scrapped the longer day one year later, finding that the experiment had exhausted students and teachers without meeting the goal of closing the achievement gap. After learning this lesson, Brennan/Rogers School, which serves grades K-8, put a lot of energy toward creating more time for teachers to help each other "improve their craft."

Lott said she introduced the longer day because there were some students who needed to catch up academically with their peers. Now, teachers are meeting with their colleagues earlier in the morning to work on academic improvement and professional development. Since then, the school has posted the highest gains in the district on state standardized tests, and student behavior has calmed down. 

"We've focused on making the time that we have already with kids more useful, more powerful," said Superintendent Garth Harries.

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Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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