Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Extended School Days: More reading instruction, student success
Under state law, Florida’s 300 lowest performing elementary schools in reading are required to extend the school day by one hour. A new Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast study looks at the characteristics of the schools that implemented this law and how they used the required extra hour.
Since the 2012-13 school year, Florida law has required the 100 lowest performing elementary schools in reading to extend the school day by one hour to provide supplemental reading instruction.
In 2014, the law was broadened to include the 300 elementary schools with the lowest reading performance. A previous study of the state’s first two cohorts of 100 lowest performing schools found that observed growth in school reading performance after one to two years of implementing the extended school day policy did not exceed what would have been expected because of natural variation.
The new study follows up on that report by describing the 300 lowest performing schools and analyzing how they implemented the extended school day policy. This study provides preliminary evidence that schools provided more reading instruction, more staff, and more professional development and complied with the extended school day policy. Interviewees attributed student success to changes that accompanied the additional hour such as curricular and pedagogical changes.