Boston Superintendent Calls for Extended School Days

(NECN: Jackie Bruno, Boston) - This decision won't affect high schools, but some middle schools and elementary school may have to extend their school day by two hours thanks to a new decision by the superintendent.

Most kids don't want to think about school in July, but a new decision by the superintendent of Boston's public schools may force them to.

Dr. Carol Johnson will make some Boston schools extend their day by two hours. They may even have to have Saturday sessions every now and then. She doesn't have approval of the Boston teachers union, but she doesn't need it, thanks to an old rule on the books.

"I think it's the best way for us to move forward and get the additional time they need," said Boston Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Carol Johnson.

The union may not have a choice, but the teachers do. They can either stay on at the schools for their hourly pay of $41 an hour on average, or they can choose to transfer to a school with fewer hours.

"We know that a lot of parents that are affluent buy private tutors for their students, I think what we're trying to offer to some of our poorest students or students who family's might not have the income to provide those after school experiences to help them… if we can provide those opportunities those students will have the same chance as other students," said Johnson.

But, the plan isn't getting rave reviews on the streets of Boston.

"I think they'll be more tired, they'll loose their focus, so I don't think it will work," said Jessica Nappi of Boston.

"Kids are kids and they need more time to be kids. I don't think it's going to mean a thing to keep them in longer," said George Kazanjian of Meutheun.

Marry Cummings of Woburn has a different perspective.

"I'm open to it. I think they're on the right track in terms of testing and trialing a few schools. I'd be interested to see how it goes. I'm not opposed to it, but I wouldn't want to say I'm 100 percent for it either," said Cummings.

Johnson says the city's schools have some of the shortest school days in the nation She will decide which schools need the longer days within the next two months.

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