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.