Revere schools eye extended day

REVERE – Three local schools plan to extend the teaching day next year subject to teachers union and School Committee approval, and the state’s help to pay for the longer days.School Superintendent Paul Dakin said extending the school day slightly less than two hours at the Garfield Middle School and Whelan School next year would cost $1.6 million.If state educators approve applications, the two schools will file in early December and the extended school day would begin with the start of school in 2008.”We’re confident in both proposals,” Dakin said.Dakin said money to pay teachers to work extra hours must come from the state for extended day to succeed.He said teachers have tentatively agreed to receive 18 percent raises to work 25 percent longer than they do now.The McKinley School also plans to file an extended day plan and ask state officials to speed up the process required to review it.The Revere Teachers Association and School Committee have yet to take a final vote on extending the school day, but Dakin said union members tentatively agreed to a plan to make extended day available in a school if a majority of employees approve the idea.Dakin said Garfield workers endorsed the extension plan 43-3 and Whelan employees vote within the week.State educators and public education advocates have pushed for extended day for over two years, claiming it gives teachers more time to develop programs and sharpen their skills while providing students with individual attention and extra focus on core content subjects like mathematics and language arts.Dakin said adding an hour and 50 minutes onto the middle school and elementary school days gives teachers more time to focus on core content and music and arts programs.

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