Updated: Monday, 03 Dec 2012, 6:37 PM EST
Published : Monday, 03 Dec 2012, 6:37 PM EST
HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- Thousands of Connecticut school kids are headed for a longer school day and a longer school year as a part of the effort to close the worst "achievement gap" in the nation.
The Governor went to Washington today to announce that Connecticut is one of five states participating in the program being supported by the Ford Foundation and the Boston based non-profit "National Center on Time and Learning."
The kids at Jamoke Academy in Hartford come to school at 8:15 in the morning and have classes all day until 4:15, about an hour longer than other schools in the city.
"Connecticut is on track to have an additional 3,184 students benefiting from expanded time next year," Malloy said.
The new program means that kids in some of the schools in East Hartford, Meriden, and New London will be spending a lot more time in school starting next year.
"Students in the communities I'm talking about will have longer, stronger school days that grants them the access to education that prepares them for success," Malloy said.
The Academic Director here at Jamoke Academy says that just making the school day and the school year longer is not enough.
"Simply doing more of what you've already been doing however is not as simple a recipe. It's very important that students have an academic program that's rich, rigorous and meaningful," Leanne Masterjoseph of Jamoke Academy said.
There is no achievement gap at Jamoke. Test scores rival those in the more affluent suburbs and was among the first state sponsored Charter Schools that also opened in New Haven and Bridgeport. Sometimes there's school here on Saturdays.
"Jamoke Academy has been very successful in a Saturday Academy Model, which gives students twelve Saturdays a year in school. We also have a very successful summer program that is highly enrolled and highly attended," Masterjoseph said.
In Meriden the longer school days have already started at the Pulaski Elementary School with the kids starting an hour earlier under the program announced today. It will be expanded to two other schools next year.
"This is not just more of the same of what the children do throughout their regular school day. These are different types of activities that really get the day going in a very positive way," Bob Angeli of Meriden Public Schools said.
The schools will add at least 300 hours of learning time starting in the next school year.