Bringing you the week’s expanding learning time news:

To Increase Learning Time, Some Schools Add Days to Academic Year  National education reporter Mitoko Rich, highlights the momentum building across the country for expanding learning time with a visit to Balsz School District #31 in Arizona. Since the district transitioned to the longer calendar, the proportion of students passing state reading tests has gone to 65 percent from 51 percent, and math scores are also improving. We also blogged about it here.

School day an hour longer for 7,000 students  More than 7,000 Palm Beach County elementary school students will get an extra hour of school this year — every minute of it dedicated to reading. “Historically, elementary school principals have been longing to add more time onto the day,” says Eric Gross, principal of Grove Park Elementary in Palm Beach Gardens. “What this extra hour does is it gives us the opportunity to hone in on each of the individual student’s skills and really meet their needs.”

Rick Hess debates extending the school year  Extended school year supporters believe that it keeps kids from falling behind academically by avoiding summer slump, and keeps troubled kids off the streets. Research has also shown that students in high-needs districts and students with special needs tend to do better in schools with extended calendars. But that doesn’t apply to everyone, Rick Hess, director of education policy at the American Enterprise Institute, tells Fox News. “We want to extend the school year for kids for whom it would benefit them and for kids who are attending schools where we’re confident the time’s going be used well and it’s going to be used effectively.”

Schools may see longer days  The  Salem School Department has added almost an hour at Bentley, making it the second school in the city with an extended schedule. Saltonstall, a K-8 school, was established more than a decade ago as an extended-day, extended-year school. If Salem officials get their way, every public school in the city will add one hour.