BOSTON (CBS) – Mayor Marty Walsh announced a proposal to add 40 minutes of learning time to the school day, a move that would impact nearly 23,000 Boston elementary and middle school students.
Boston elementary school students currently are in school for six hours per day while middle school students are in class for six hours and ten minutes.
Under Walsh's proposal, which has been negotiated along with Boston Public Schools and the Boston Teacher's Union, 60 schools that do not already have an extended day will lengthen their schedule by 40 minutes.
"We know that when our students have more time to learn, they have a better chance of succeeding," said Walsh. "I thank the Boston Teachers Union and the Boston Public Schools for their partnership in helping us reach this milestone that will strengthen our education system and help us close the achievement gap so we can give all of our young people the opportunity to succeed."
Walsh said the additional 40 minutes each day will be the equivalent of adding one month of instruction per year for elementary school students. It will also nearly double the amount of planning and development time for teachers, Walsh said.
Boston Public Schools plans to roll the plan out over three years, starting with about 20 schools during the 2015-16 school year.
The next step in the process is for the proposal to go before the full membership of the Boston Teacher's Union. If approved, it would then go before the Boston School Committee for a vote.
"The school day extension will help our students by offering well-planned, school-based instruction that promotes teaching and learning while allowing for increased participation in a variety of under-served subject areas, such as art, music, drama and foreign language," said Richard Stutman, President of the Boston Teachers Union.
"We are pleased to have been part of a truly collaborative effort that brought this about."
Officials said extending the school day would cost about $12.5 million per year once it is fully rolled out to all 60 schools.
"With this agreement we are transforming the definition of the 'school day' in the Boston Public Schools," said BPS Interim Superintendent John McDonough.
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