October 24, 2014
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Letters
A plan for 60 more school days

To the Editor:

A longer school year and school day would be of great benefit to all public school students, especially urban area students. I would recommend a 200-day school year and a seven-hour school day.  Students would be spending the equivalent of 60 extra days each year in the classroom. Time would be available at the end of each school day for remedial programs, enrichment programs and alternate pathways to learning programs.

The school year would consist of eight cycles of five weeks of school followed by a week of vacation. There would be four vacation weeks during the summer. During the warm summer months, there would be four weeks of daily instruction in music, art and physical education for all students, and time would be available to implement alternative pathways to learning programs.

After the third year of implementation of this new schedule, almost all students would be able to complete all graduation requirements by the end of the 11th grade. These students would take part in specially designed prep-school and work-study programs at local state colleges and universities three days per week. These senior year programs would provide a great incentive for high school sophomores and juniors to remain in school and continue their education at the post-secondary level. Students would return to their local high schools for graduation, club and sports activities and to allow those students who have not completed their graduation requirements to complete them.

It has been my experience that children get bored after four weeks of summer vacation and would like to get back to school and be with their friends and teachers. In addition, because the number of high school teachers and administrators would be reduced, implementing this new schedule would be revenue neutral.

Kenneth Berwick

Smithfield


Comments
3 comments on this item

Yes, Yes, and Yes! I'm curious is this has been implemented in Smithfield or if he is a teacher there. Wonderful! Beginning of real brainstorming.

Good for students, parents, and tax payers!

Just a hunch, but I'm guessing that Mr. Berwick is, in some form, a public sector employee since there are no dollar signs attached to his plan of deck chair rearrangement. How many times do we need to reinvent this wheel? Precious few students in Barrington, EG, or Lincoln are at significant risk. So why not simply give "urban area" students a voucher to attend whatever school they and their parents want; public, private, or parochial. That way, the money follows the student (much like college financial aid) and not a demonstrably failed system.

Vouchers and promoting home schooling would resolve many of our concerns regarding education especially regarding political correctness, Sex Ed., outrageous costs and ineffective teachers etc…. I've been vacationing in Florida and just recently was talking to a couple who were actually home schooling their children, right on the beach, talk about freedom. The bottom line is government labor unions are a disgrace to humanity when consider all the miseries they continue to create for everyone but the union loyalists themselves. Peter A. Filippi III

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