By Cleve Bryan
HADDONFIELD, NJ (CBS)–Dismissal time at Haddonfield Memorial High School is hardly when the learning stops.
Educators in one of the state and even one of the nation’s top school districts have found high student achievement means extending the boundaries of the school day.
That’s why Superintendent of Haddonfield Schools Richard Perry wasn’t surprised to hear Governor Christie say he wants longer days and school calendars in New Jersey.
Perry says, “The more contact you have between teachers and students, the better students are able to learn.”
One lawmaker who’s sponsoring a bill this spring for the third time to extend the school calendar is Assemblyman Whip Wilson. He sees a benefit to non-traditional schedules at some of the charter schools in his district in Camden.
Wilson says, “My focus is on the kids left in public schools. That’s why I came up with this idea in reference to extending the school day and school year to help the kids in public schools, to not leave them behind.”
Wilson hopes the Governor’s support will finally help his bill pass. But some teacher’s are waving the caution flag on making school longer.
President of New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) Wendell Steinhauer says, “It’s a great sound bite, and it’s a nice easy answer to everything but it’s a lot more technical than that.”
The NJEA says any chance of scheduling is best decided at the district level.
He adds the greater immediate need is all day Kindergarten.
“Those are the things that are proven in research, that it does affect life-long learning.”
Superintendent Perry says schools must be open to constant improvement and that could include teaching kids longer adding, “I actually love it.”