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What Savings are Produced by Moving to a Four-Day School Week? PDF - Because of the economic downturn more districts than ever are moving to a four-day school week, but the question still exists — what cost savings, if any, will this move produce? Making use of national and local spending data, this report shows what savings a district might realistically expect to realize when moving to a four-day week. (Michael Griffith, Education Commission of the States, May 2011)...

Cost Per-Day for Extended School Year MS Word PDF - Extending the school year has become a topic of interest to many state and federal policymakers. Prior to deciding to extend the school year it is important for policymakers to understand the associated costs. This ECS StateNote gives a rough estimate of the total cost and the instructional cost of school operation in each state. (Michael Griffith, Education Commission of the States, February 2008)...

Year-Round Schools: In Brief - Year-round schools reorganize the traditional school year so there are no extended breaks in instruction such as the 10-week summer vacation, for example. This Brief reviews year-round's growing popularity, the inconclusive research on its efficacy, and presents pros and cons. From 1985 when there were about 410 year-round schools serving 350,000 students that number grew to 3,059 schools serving 2.2 million students in the 2011-12 school year. (Rebecca R. Skinner, Congressional Research Service, June 2014)...

Later School Start Times in Adolescence: Time for Change PDF - Opening school doors at the crack of dawn negatively affects the health and overall education of adolescent students in the United States, says a noted British sleep researcher who is urging American policymakers to consider later start times. (Paul Kelley, Ph.D., University of Oxford’s Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute; Clark Lee, J.D., Center for Health and Homeland Security at the University of Maryland, ECS, May 2014) ...

Examining the Impact of Later High School Start Times on the Health and Academic Performance of High School Students: A Multi-Site Study - Adolescents should start the school day no earlier than 8:30 in order for them to get eight, preferably nine hours sleep for maximum neural development, say the authors of this report. Teens who got that much sleep were less likely to report being depressed or using caffeine or other substances. Also, there was a reduction in local car crashes, less absenteeism, less tardiness and higher achievement test scores. Maintenance of the status quo was the strongest force against a later start time. (Kyla L. Wahlstrom, et al., Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement, March 2014)...

The Report of the 2013 Bell Times Work Group: Sleep Needs of Students, Scheduling Practices, and Options for Consideration - School start times, also known as bell times, was the focus of a work group convened in Montgomery County, MD, from January to July of 2013. Members were to consider research, local expert testimony, the experience of comparable districts, and the results of a survey which found an overwhelming majority of high school students and their parents felt the 7:25 a.m. high school start time was too early. They offered the superintendent four options: reverse high school and middle school start times, move all start times 25 to 35 minutes later, extend the length of the elementary day by 30 minutes, or keep the status quo. (Montgomery County Public Schools, September 2013)...

Recommended Annual Taught Time in Full-Time Compulsory Education in Europe 2012/13 - Check out which European country requires the highest amount of taught time and how many hours students spend on specific core subjects. Facts and figures are updated annually. (Eurydice, 2013) ...

Do Short Physical Activity Breaks in the Classroom Work? - With decreasing budgets for physical education and worrisome rates of childhood obesity, in-class activity breaks are gaining in popularity. This brief reviews those “break” programs that were researched. Some feature 10-minute bouts through the day; others tie physical activity to class learning. One is grade-specific and tied to the core curriculum. By checking pedometers, researchers found the kids did move more; also, some programs resulted in improvement in on-task behavior, found students took less ADHD and asthma medications, and visited the school nurse fewer times....

The Four-Day School Week: Nine Years Later - This brief intends to provide information and guidance for school districts and policymakers considering the possibility of a four-day school week. The brief discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the modified schedule, the steps a school might take to make the switch, and recommendations for districts considering the change. Examples of districts that have made the switch are also included. (CEEP, November 2012)...

International Data Table Library - Over 100 statistical tables present data from a range of sources and compare different facets of education in the United States with those of other countries. Tables are organized by topic and are regularly updated as new data become available. Topics include participation in education; educational outcomes; school contexts; students' experiences and attitudes about education; and education system characteristics. Recent additions (Spring 2012) have been made available that highlight in-school and out-of-school instructional time per week allocated to core subjects, which can be found in Section C, subsection c3. (NCES, 2012)...

Recess and Reading Achievement of Early Childhood Students in Public Schools - Using a nationally representative sample, this study examines reading scores of students who experienced different numbers of recess days in a week, and different numbers and lengths of recess periods in a day. Findings showed no significant main effects of recess; however, students who were exposed to a 16-30 minutes recess period tended to perform better. It was concluded that recess does not have a significant effect on reading achievement. (Arizona State University, April 2012)...

Increasing Physical Activity Through Recess - This brief summarizes the growing body of research examining recess, which shows that providing recess during the school day is an effective and efficient way to increase physical activity and improve academic performance among children. (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, January 2012)...

Turning Back the Clock: The Inequitable Impact of Shortening California's School Year - For the last two years California's policymakers have made the inequitable decision to systematically reduce the amount of instructional time that school districts are required to provide. Given that California has some of the widest achievement gaps and lowest student performance in the nation, reducing learning time should not be an option. (Arun Ramanathan, The Education Trust--West, November 2011)...

Municipal Leadership for Afterschool: Citywide Approaches Spreading Across the Country - This report presents the broadest look yet at a growing trend in America's cities--the emergence of city-led efforts to build comprehensive afterschool and out-of-school time (OST) systems that meet the needs of children and youth in the communities. (Bela Shah Spooner, National League of Cities, October 2011)...

Time Well Spent: Eight Powerful Practices of Successful, Expanded-Time Schools - The NCTL's new report profiles 30 expanded learning time schools across the country in 11 states and large cities like New York, Chicago, Boston, New Orleans, and Philadelphia that serve large percentages of low-income kids. All the schools examined in the report have used various expanded-time models and seen improvements in students, staff, and the schools overall. (National Center on Time and Learning, September 2011)...

Organizing Schools to Improve Student Achievement: Start Times, Grade Configurations and Teacher Assignments - Authors Brian Jacob of University of Michigan and Jonah Rockoff of Columbia Business School present the evidence on several organizational changes that could provide significant “bang for the buck” in student achievement. While simple, these changes have the potential to substantially improve K–12 student performance. Suggestions include: (1) changing the start time for school days for middle and high school students; (2) taking measures to address the difficult transition from elementary to middle school; and (3) assigning teachers to grades and subjects to increase the gains from specialization. (Hamilton Project, September 2011)...

Collecting and Using Information to Strengthen Citywide Out-of-School Time Systems - This guide presents examples of how mayors, council members and other municipal leaders across the country have implemented each strategy to improve the out-of-school time opportunities available in their cities and towns. The powerful role city leaders can play in supporting data collection at the program and city levels is highlighted. (Lane Russell and Priscilla Little, Wallace Foundation, September 2011)...

Focus on the Alternative School Calendar: Year-Round School Programs and Update on the Four-Day School Week - This report provides an overview of year-round programs and examines the advantages and challenges that are inherent to most, if not all, of these programs. It also provides an update on actions relating to the four-day school week. Although only a small percentage of schools in the SREB region have year-round programs in operation, it is important for education leaders and legislators to explore whether this type of calendar contributes to stronger academic achievement results for students. (SREB, January 2011)...


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