Jefferson-Houston May See Extended School Day
ACPS considers extending day to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Friday in attempt to hike academic achievement.
Alexandria City Public Schools is considering extending the school day for Jefferson-Houston School as it faces a designation as one of eight schools in Virginia that are among the lowest achieving.
Jefferson-Houston is on its way to being classified as a “priority school” and when that designation happens, the School Board must address this issue, said ACPS Superintendent Morton Sherman.
“When that designation happens, we’ll have 'til January, February when a new board sits here. We’ll hire one of four vendors and spend $500,000 to $600,000 (of state money) on this Title I school,” Sherman said before the School Board on Thursday night. “It’s a reality.”
ACPS is considering adding 220 hours or 38 full school days to the academic year for this specific school.
On Mondays, students at the K-8 school would receive instruction from 8 a.m. to 2:35 p.m. similar to many area elementary schools. Staff would experience professional development from 2:35 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Tuesdays through Fridays, students would receive instruction from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The proposal would go into effect for teachers on Oct. 1 and on Oct. 16 for students, according to the current proposal draft (PDF).
During the last year, school administrators added new leadership, changed instructional staff (with more than 50 percent new to the school) and instituted new instructional programs.
The alternative governance model that was in place since 2009 did not help bring needed improvements, according to the report, which led leadership to institute a new model for the 2011-12 school year.
An additional community meeting is expected to be scheduled to further discuss the extended-day issue.