Bill-de-BlasioWe are excited to hear that more schools will have expanded learning time.  On Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced to add more time to 94 struggling public schools in New York City, calling them “Renewal Schools.”

We’re here today, because we reject the notion of giving up on any of our schools,” Mayor de Blasio said on Monday at the Coalition School for Social Change.

With an intended investment of $150 million, these renewal schools will implement a community schools’ strategy in order to offer key opportunities and supports to students including health, mental health, and mentoring; more afterschool and summer learning opportunities for students; activities and classes for children, families and community members in the evenings and on weekends; and an additional hour of instruction per day. We hope that with this additional hour of instruction, the schools will provide their students with not only more time in critical academic subjects but also more targeted intervention and support and engaging enrichment classes.

Each of these schools must devise a renewal plan by the spring, and meet some of its individual goals by the 2015-16 school year, including improved attendance rates. By 2016-17, each school must “demonstrate significant improvement in academic achievement,” but no specific targets for test score gains were set. We are looking forward to seeing how each school uses this opportunity to rethink their school time to thoughtfully and strategically meet the needs of their students.

Click here to read more what is happening in New York State around expanded learning time.