I feel lucky to have gone to elementary and secondary school where the school day is only about 6 hours. I think it’s really important that both…

I feel lucky to have gone to elementary and secondary school where the school day is only about 6 hours. I think it’s really important that both students and teachers/school staff have some time to rest after school.   However, there are some people who are entirely against having 6 hour school days. I remember being exasperated by a parent’s suggestion to extend the school day by a few hours. The idea was that children are “safer” at school and would benefit from having more “learning time”.   I’m sure there are merits to this argument, but just increasing school time alone isn’t going to guarantee that students will learn more. It’s the characteristics of the individual student, the teacher, and the academic system they operate under that will determine how successful a student learns. There can be some arguments to make about extending the school day and its benefits, but again (at least from my school-averse, adolescent perspective) I believe that it’s more important to change how the school system works (as in the curriculum implemented and so on).   I can see why someone might want their children at school for an extended period of time because they don’t have someone to take care of them while they’re working. But school staff are not, as many teachers would argue, babysitters. I understand that for many parents it is difficult to pay for and find a trustworthy person to care for their children, but most schools can’t account for that. In some schools, they have implemented after-school clubs and activities, which I think is a great idea because it can be a compromise on that issue.   What do you think? What are arguments for extension of the school day?   -Allyson

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