Missouri schools eying pluses, minuses in longer school days

With a brilliant fall afternoon waiting outside, most area students were likely one step into the sunshine come 3:30 p.m. Monday.

Not Trey Miller. The Kipp Endeavor Academy eighth-grader — not yet finished with music class — had an hour in science ahead of him.

Schoolmate Shakeara Gold, a seventh-grader, was headed for Spanish.

Fifth-grader Darica Brazier — math.

Earlier Monday, President Barack Obama reaffirmed his desire to help schools across the country increase the time students spend in classes — especially schools serving high numbers of children from low-income families who often enter school behind their peers.

The complications are many. Longer school years and school days cost money. They complicate transportation. They conflict with extracurricular programs, student work schedules and traditions.

Sometimes, Trey said, the extended schooling is simply exhausting.

“I ride the bus and I don’t get home ’til 6:15 (p.m.),” he said. “Then I have homework. I eat. I shower and I go to sleep. That’s all I do mostly.”

It’s well known that the United States’ competitors in the global market have outstripped the U.S. in establishing the kind of school schedules Obama envisions.

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