Twenty-two public schools in Boston offered extended time during the last academic year, the most of any school district in the state, according to Massachusetts 2020.
The Boston Teachers Union says about one-third of the district’s 128 schools offer an extended day.
Matthew Wilder, a spokesman for the Boston public schools, said in an e-mail that extended day programs have been a key strategy for improving underperforming schools, and the district plans to extend the day at more schools in the fall. “Superintendent [Carol] Johnson believes strongly that our students require additional time with their great teachers,” Wilder wrote. “However, she also believes that just adding time to the school day isn’t enough; an extended day must be methodically planned and include opportunities such as the arts and athletics for it to be successful.”
Richard Stutman, president of the Boston Teachers Union, also said an extended day should provide varied offerings. He said Boston launched the first extended-day school in the state in 1986 and that the program in the district has generally been “a reasonable success.”
But he also said that keeping students in school for more than an additional 90 minutes appears to be counterproductive. “All in all, it’s a good thing,” Stutman said of longer days.