- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Students at 10 D.C. schools can expect an extra month of classes next school year as part of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s initiative to help struggling pupils make the grade.

“By extending the school year in these 10 schools, we will offer students the equivalent of an extra year of learning by the time they reach the eighth grade,” Ms. Bowser said in a statement Wednesday.

The extension, which affects only elementary and middle schools, will extend the academic year from 180 to 200 days. An additional two weeks will be provided for students who need extra support.

Ms. Bowser said that research shows that students’ time away from school during the summer contributes to the achievement gap — the disparity in education performance between different groups in the District.

“School districts across the country that have extended the school year have seen significant gains among their student bodies,” the mayor said.

The extended year will give struggling students the opportunity not only to catch up but also to explore courses in art, music and foreign languages, D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson said.

The schools, mostly in Wards 7 and 8, were selected based on a mix of criteria, including strong leadership, community interest and student bodies that demonstrate growth potential, Ms. Bowser said.

The 10 schools will join the Raymond Education Campus in Ward 4, which piloted the extended year program this school year. About 96 percent of students there attended what was then an optional extension, according to Principal Natalie Hubbard, who said the community supports the program.

“We are seeing teachers, students, and parents on board for extended year,” Ms. Hubbard said.

The elementary and middle schools planning an extended 2016/2017 school year:

⦁ Garfield Elementary School (Ward 8)

⦁ H.D. Cooke Elementary School (Ward 1)

⦁ Hart Middle School (Ward 8)

⦁ Hendley Elementary School (Ward 8)

⦁ Johnson Middle School (Ward 8)

⦁ Kelly Miller Middle School (Ward 7)

⦁ King Elementary School (Ward 8)

⦁ Randle Highlands Elementary School (Ward 7)

⦁ Thomas Elementary School (Ward 7)

⦁ Turner Elementary School (Ward 8)

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