What do you think about a longer school day? Right now we are near the bottom of the I districts.


Longer school days will not guarantee an overall increase in academic performance.  In fact, it has been found that educators already feel over taxed with the amount of time they spend inside and outside of school in order to fulfill their obligations as educators.  Longer school days would only take away from the enthusiasm that remains after all of the other educational tasks required for them to do their jobs effectively.  Extending the school day would probably cause students to feel "bored", which they often say, or feel overwhelmed.

Instead of extending the school day, the implementation of curriculum instruction may need to be improved.  This new curriculum implementation ,through a variety of approaches, will help to peak student interest in the subject being taught. The student boost in class participation will increase academic performance if the interest is stimulated in the subject matter, and ultimately the school moral.  

An elevation in school moral among students and faculty will make for a more cohesive school environment and give a more clearly defined climate and culture in each and every school in the district.  These strategies through educational administrative research have proven to improve overall student performance in many school districts.    




A few years ago as part of teacher negotiations, Metuchen added more teacher-student contact time to the school day. Adding additional instruction time would be something that would have to be negotiated as part of the next contract.  At the high school and middle school, the amount of instructional time is equivalent to the state average.  At Campbell School, instructional time is a few minutes below the state average.  A longer day would most likely come with added expense in the form of additional compensation for the teachers.  I would like to find out how additional time would be allocated versus the expense involved, before I could make a decision as to whether a longer school day was right for Metuchen.




The idea of a longer school day has been discussed for many years.  It requires negotiations with the teachers union and would likely have a cost attached to it.   If the new graduation requirements are put into place, we may have no alternative but to extend the school day in order to accommodate the scheduling needs within our high school facility.  Again, as with any substantial change in the district, the idea should be reviewed from every perspective - educational benefits, costs, facilities, impact on the community, and overall feasibility.  There are a variety of scenarios that might be adopted.  A determination would need to be made as to how much time to add to the day and whether it would apply to all of the schools or just some.




I do believe in more student contact time.  Any additional time will need to be negotiated with the MEA.  As an experienced leader of the negotiation team, I would make time a priority in the upcoming talks.  In the past I have successfully negotiated for an additional 10 minutes in student contact time, as well as an additional full day.  Metuchen students attend classes 181 days as opposed to the State required 180 days.




Metuchen absolutely needs to extend its school day in all schools, but must fill that time with more challenging curriculum as well.

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