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For Aurea Gonzalez, school is like a full-time job. The 8-year-old goes to school Monday through Friday from 8-5.
Aurea is a student at School Number 9 in the Rochester City School District. This is the first year the school has had an expanded school day.
Now, the district plans to offer the longer school day in 8 city elementary schools beginning next year. The idea is to increase time in the classroom by 300 hours a year. The district says it will boost learning and improve academic performance.
Rochester is the only district here taking part in the three year pilot program. It is funded through state and federal grants.
While students will be in school longer and for part of the summer, teachers will likely work staggered schedules, with some teaching in the morning, the others in the afternoon.
Details and scheduling are still being worked out. The Rochester Teachers Union says not all students need more time in the classroom, but many do. The RTA says because of contractual issues, teachers would only work a longer day if they agreed to it and if they are paid extra. Those issues still have to be worked out.
Parents say they like the idea of a longer school day. Yvonne Gonzalez said her two girls are doing better in school. She also likes that she doesn't have to worry about what they are doing after school. She picks up the girls after work and they go home together.
Aurea said she loves being in school. "I like it because you get to learn rather than being lazy and being on the couch watching tv," Aurea said.
Aurea's mother Yvonne also likes the longer school day for both of her girls at School Number 9. She said she doesn't have to worry about what they are doing after school. She picks them up after work, they go home, eat dinner, play and then go to bed.
Yvonne Gonzalez said the expanded school day is also be a blessing for working parents because they don't have to pay for daycare or hire a babysitter to watch children after school.
Beginning next year, students in the following elementary schools will have the expanded school day: Schools 3,9,10,19,23,34,45, and 46. The district is also looking at offering the longer day in one of the secondary schools as well.