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Longer school days coming to Hamburg

WBFO News file photo

Education advocates in recent years have been pushing for longer school days to boost academic achievement. That effort has prompted a change in Hamburg where elementary students will spending more time in class starting next year.

The Hamburg School Board has long pushed for a longer school day. That's a common attitude among many involved with education, that if students spend more time in class they will learn more. Some of that is reflected in charter schools with longer days and longer years.

Under the contract with the Hamburg Teachers Association, students will spend around 40 minutes more each day in class. What classes is to be worked out by a committee of teachers and administrators.

Barbara Sporyz is assistant superintendent of administrative services and finance and district clerk. She bargained the new contract.

"We were interested in generally extending the elementary school day. Our elementary students had a relatively short school day and the board of education was interested in increasing the amount of hours they spend at school," Sporyz said.

Teachers received raises and changes in transfer rules in the newly-ratified contract. Those details still to be worked out include things like what specific time students will arrive and leave, and what time will they go to lunch. The new hours will take effect in a year.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.