Assessment Chat

Adding More Time for Learning

Gretchen E. Bueter and An-Me Chung discuss the implications of adding more hours to the instructional day and more days to the school year.

September 24, 2008

Adding More Time for Learning

  • Gretchen E. Bueter is the principal of Grove Patterson Academy in Toledo, Ohio. This regular K-8 school uses an 8-hour day and a 192-day school year so students and teachers have the time to tackle an interdisciplinary approach to learning that includes art, music, and foreign language for every child.
  • An-Me Chung oversees expanded school-based learning programs, after-school programs, and community partnerships as a program officer for the C.S. Mott Foundation in Flint, Mich. The foundation has funded after-school programs for many years, and convened a commission that produced the 2007 report “A New Day for Learning,” which calls for a rethinking of children’s learning time.

Catherine Gewertz (Moderator):

Good afternoon, and welcome to Education Week‘s Live Chat. Joining us is An-Me Chung, a program officer for the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, which has long funded out-of-school time programs, and convened leading educators, scholars and others to produce the report “A New Day For Learning,” which urges a total rethinking of students’ learning time. Also here today is Gretchen Bueter, the principal of Grove Patterson Academy in Toledo, Ohio, a K-8 school that uses an extended day and year to deliver a multidisciplinary approach to learning for its students. I’m Catherine Gewertz, an assistant editor here at EdWeek, and I’m moderating the discussion with our two guests. Adding more time for learning is a theme explored in the seminal report, A Nation At Risk, and it’s a theme we explored in a story that I wrote for the current issue of Education Week. We have lots of questions, so let’s get started!

Question from Concerned grandparent of 11 in Tacoma, WA:

Bravo for Grove Patterson. How was the increased contact time with certified unionized (?) teachers funded? WA state schools don’t average even 180 days and 7 hours is max. Has either presidential candidate addressed this excellent and long overdue idea?

Gretchen E. Bueter:

Thank you so very much! Our Administrative and Teacher unions agreed to the extended time at the very beginning. This was, and continues to be a collaborative project in continuous update and improvement. At this time, I am not quite sure of what the candidates have discussed with regards to extended time on task and in learning; however, I certainly hope that they do indeed address these immediate issues for the sake of ALL of our children.

Question from Shelley Farrar-Coleman, Educational Consultant:

What type of school/setting do you believe would be able to implement this type of full-day structure? Does it need to be a smaller school or just have a strong organized leader such as yourself?

I know that working in a large urban school setting they were barely able to handle the regular day with effective instruction.

An-Me Chung:

The goal of the New Day for Learning report is to call for a comprehensive learning system throughout the day, early-to-late, and year-round. This kind learning system will provide young people the opportunity for a seamless learning experience with optimum opportunities to learn and develop, as well as multiple ways of learning, anchored to high standards and aligned to educational resources throughout a community. Schools should not and can not do this alone. We need to re-envision, how, where, and when children learn. Thus, schools regardless of their size and their communities who are willing to think out of the box about learning and time, have strong leadership, and make the best use of resources both in the school and community by collaborating across different sectors are the ones most likely to implement a new learning day.

Question from Dennis Barnebey, education specialist, Public Citizens for Children and Youth:

Has the school district agreed to compensate teachers for the increased number of days and hours they put in? Are there other forms of compensation...more released time or planning time?

Gretchen E. Bueter:

Yes, the District has agreed to compensate the staff for the longer day, longer year, and up to 3-hours per week for instructional planning.

Question from Maureen Oldenburg, Secondary English Master’s student, Arizona State University:

How do you reduce the time students spend off-task, so as to maximize the time spent on learning?

Gretchen E. Bueter:

For example, we have a 90-minute Reading lockdown in the a.m.; and we often tie our PE in with a recess format and its connection to counting and Math strategies.

Question from TJ Adams Coordinator of Student Services, Kirbyville CISD Kirbyville, TX:

Do you have any additional research-based information concerning after-school programs that may be of interest to those considering implementing similar programs? Thank you for your help!

An-Me Chung:

Harvard Family Research Project maintains a comprehensive database of afterschool research and evaluations. They also recently completed a summary and analysis of these studies. Go to for the database, and you can also download the summary called “After School Programs in the 21st Century: Their Potential and What it Takes to Achieve It. “

Question from Dr. Gerald Hill, Superintendent, Glenview School District 34:

How do you respond to the parent groups forming under the slogan of “Save Our Summers”? They contend that by having a longer school year, families are denied the opportunity to spend greater amounts of quality time together.

An-Me Chung:

Elena Silva from Education Sector mentions in her report “On the Clock: Rethinking the Way Schools Use Time” ( that adding time can be politically tricky. A longer school year can run into resistance from parents, employers, and a wide range of businesses who are dependent on the school day and year. In her report, she mentions that any kind of extended-time proposal must focus on providing the right kind of time – time when students are engaged in productive learning, rather than just adding hours and days in general. Depending on what the needs in a particular community or school, providing more time for productive learning has a range of possibilities that does not mean adding 3 months to the existing 9 months. I would guess that the parent groups who are most concerned about a longer school year, are also parents who probably want their children to participate in productive learning. Engaging and working collaboratively with parents, schools, and the community to determine what this productive learning looks like, how their children will benefit, and what kind of time is needed is critical.

Question from Ron Shelley, Principal/Director The Stadium School Baltimore, MD:

How do you connect after-school programs to the extended day, e.g. math tutorial, homework club, coach classes? How does one align these programs to see the most benefit. For example between core classes, math tutorial, Teacher Assistant Instruction , coach class we have 140 -160 minutes of math instruction. How do you coordinate, manage, and design these programs so we see increase math efficacy?;

Gretchen E. Bueter:

We make all of our projects available to the Y, our tutors, and to any of our groups which participate in helping our students further their education. With regards to our math and any other subjects, we align our standards and expectations to coordinate across the board with all other subjects.

Question from Lacey Hoogland, Education Specialist, TIE:

First: With a 192 day school year when does the year begin and end? Do you have extended vacations during the school year to spread the 192 days out more? Second: In what grade do your students begin foreign language instruction and how much is instruction increased with each year of schooling? Also, do the students have a variety of languages to choose from or is their one language for all students?

Gretchen E. Bueter:

Our school calendar is officially extended by five regular eight-hour days. Then, we add in our extra hours and our other five days for Professional Development. Our regular calendar begins one week before everyone else in the district. Our year ends five days later than everyone else does. All of our students begin their Foreign Language study in the Kindergarten grade. As for their increased work time goes, they have 90 minutes in uninterrupted Reading class daily; two days per week for two hours in math every week; and 1/2 hour of For. Lang. every day. Our students’ Applications are drawn according to openings on either Spanish or German side--- K-8. Many of our graduates have gone on to test out of their language in high school.

Question from Deborah Gibson, Elementary Music Specialist, Barrington Elementary, Upper Arlington Ohio Schools:

Dear Ms Bueter, In your building’s interdisciplinary approach, how is collaborative time for the regular classroom and arts teachers facilitated? Do the teachers tend to develop ideas around a building-wide or time period specific theme, or combine a variety of children’s interests with curricular requirements? Elephant-in-the-room question: how have testing scores responded to the interdisciplinary approach? Thank you so much for your reply!

Gretchen E. Bueter:

Our staff meets every week to discuss and share goals, calendar dates, projects, and any standards and interventions which may occur.We ALL tend to work together to create and include any math, rdg., or science into our Art, Music, or PE. For example, our PE will include forms of exercise and recess and measurement. Our Art and Music may include some History and Religion, etc. This makes for great school presentations. As a bldg., we often use many district and schoolwide goals and ideas. We tend to also incorporate many of our Success For All Rdg. themes. Our scores have been within .02%-2% away from Excellence within the last 3 years. We have continued to be an Effective School. We find this to be quite a feat in itself; as we are also a non-districted school. Thanks for your question!!

Question from carlos garcia, universidad de guanajuato, proesor:

From the OCDE data, there is not a relationshipo between time spent in class and outcomes in achievement. México, my country, is one of the saddest examples. It’s better not confuse quanlity with quality. So it´s what we do with the time in terms of real and meaningfull content whats make the diference. What then is the meaning of meaningfull content?

An-Me Chung:

Real learning occurs when the curriculum is rich and relevant, instruction is reinforced in multiple ways, and students build knowledge by applying it to real problems. These learning environments enable students to work deeply and use time more efficiently. Students engage in ambitious projects requiring the work of a team and mentoring and consulting with teachers, fellow students and experts, similar to how professionals learn and communicate in the modern workplace. However, success is dependent on combining meaningful content with other factors such as strong leaders, good monitoring of performance, high student expectations, and safe and supportive environments.

We also need to expand the definition of student success and develop appropriate assessment tools. Reading, math and science are critical to a solid educational foundation but must be bolstered by applied skills such as critical thinking, problem solving and teamwork. Beyond merely teaching students these skills, we must thoughtfully assess them to ensure that today’s young people are fully prepared to succeed in college, career and citizenship.

Question from C. Rose, MFT:

I work collaberatively with Modesto City Schools and often see children rushed from activity to another. I observe in the classrooms a rush to move to the next portion of instruction, leaving many children behind. I am wondering about the extention of the school day and year not only for the purpose of teaching more, but for the purpose of allowing a child’s brain to digest/process information. Can you comment on extended school days and years for in part, that reason?

An-Me Chung:

I agree that students need the opportunity to digest/process information, and therefore any kind of extended-time proposal must focus on providing the right kind of time – time when students are engaged in productive learning, rather than just adding hours and days.

Question from Connie, Librarian, Kern High School District,:

How feasible is an 8-hour day at the high school level? I am 100% in support of interdisciplinary approaches to instruction and learning, but I would like to hear from the public high schools on how this would work. I could see adding more days, but I am not sure about more hours to the day.

An-Me Chung:

Successful high schools that I have seen with longer days are ones that combine classroom instruction with apprenticeships in local businesses or other community-based opportunites for real-life learning.

Question from Charlotte Satterlee:

Is this true for high school also? High school students complain frequently about feeling burned out. Attendance is poor and more students are dropping out than ever before. What would be the most effective way to extend the time for the above age group?

An-Me Chung:

High school students are a natural resource, and can be a great arena for innovation. Understanding the developmental needs of high school students and keeping them engaged is important for keeping them in schools. For example, some innovative high schools start at 11:00 am and run longer through the day. Some have combined classroom instruction with work in community settings and local businesses where they have an opportunity to engage in real-life learning. See, the website of the George Lucas Educational Foundation for examples of high school innovations.

Question from John Oberg, Director, Pearson:

Would addtional student learning time be accompanied by addtional time for teacher PD and planning? Otherwise we have more time within which teachers producing poor results will produce even more robust misconceptions and misunderstandings.

Gretchen E. Bueter:

Absolutely!! We have PD every week to some degree. We either have collaborative and grade-level meetings; or presenters who visit with new ideas and strategies.

Question from Barry Wansbrough, President, L2L, volunteer student tutor trainer and certifyer:

How will adding more time to the ‘cells and bells’ Industrial Age school day help our students prepare for the Knowledge Age? It’s not the amount of time at issue. It’s what they do with it.

An-Me Chung:

As Milt Goldberg, executive director of the Nation At Risk and member of the New Day for Learning Advisory Board says, “ A lousy 8 hour day is worse than a lousy 6 hour day.”

Question from Lisa Escarcega, Chief Accountability & Research Office, Aurora Public Schools:

In your experiences, what do see as adding more value (if you were limited to one choice), longer days or a longer school year?

Gretchen E. Bueter:

I believe the longer school day allows us to incorporate more learning material in a packet of time versus over a time period.

Question from Peggy Sorensen, Ohio Department of Education:

I know that one of the key considerations in adding more time is whether it will truly impact the time spent engaged in learning. So, while I am concerned that additional time only be looked at comprehensively, along with concerns regarding quality of curriculum, etc., I wonder if there are ways in which to use additional time to counter some of the things (announcements, tardiness, pep rallies, sales, bathroom time, lunch counts, etc) that eat into instruction. I note that Japanese schools typically have about 10 minutes between classes, even at the earliest grades. Do you think such additional unstructured time might have benefits in American schools, if coupled with heroic efforts to protect learning time?

An-Me Chung:

You may want to take a look at the report “Rethinking School Resources” by Karen Hawley Miles who recommends that more opportunities for teacher to work together, more individualized attention to students, more academic time in longer blocks, and expert support for school professionals in learning and implementing new practices.

Question from Deborah Gibson, Elementary Music Specialist, Barrington Elementary, Upper Arlington Ohio Schools:

Dear Ms Bueter, In your building’s interdisciplinary approach, how is collaborative time for the regular classroom and arts teachers facilitated? Do the teachers tend to develop ideas around a building-wide or time period specific theme, or combine a variety of children’s interests with curricular requirements? Elephant-in-the-room question: how have testing scores responded to the interdisciplinary approach? Thank you so much for your reply!

Gretchen E. Bueter:

We have instructional meetings every week after school time for all staff members to collaborate. We also involve thematics and grade level projects across the curricular board. All of the staff tends to work together with regards to themes, topics, state indicators and curriculum guidelines. Throughout the last three years, we have been an effective school. We have missed excellence by either .2% or 2% and met all of our goals this year.

Question from Peter Goodman, Ed in the Apple Blog:

What is the price tag for extending the school day/school year?

Gretchen E. Bueter:

At this time, I do not have the exact amounts. However, I do know that it is necessary to pay the staff an hourly rate each week for time after school; as well as a formula to attend to the staff’sextra time each day;and also the daily rate per teacher for the extra days before and after the regular schoolyear. However, it is also important to site that since our school is non-districted, a good number of out-of-district students have their applications drawn to gain admittance into our school. As a result, we earn much more money per ood student; which can only help to offset the extra money needed to comply.

Catherine Gewertz (Moderator):

Those of you interested in the cost of extended-time programs might find the following report useful: “Taking Stock of the Fiscal Costs of Expanded Learning Time,” by Marguerite Roza and Karen Hawley Miles. It’s on the website of the Center for American Progress,

Question from Jennifer Rinehart, VP Policy & Research, Afterschool Alliance:

What lessons learned by the afterschool field are most relevant to the implementation of a New Day for Learning?

An-Me Chung:

We know from working with afterschool initiatives that content matters. Thus a new day for learning has to be about more than adding time to the school day. What you do with that time is critical. School-community partnerships matter. Afterschool programs have made good use of extended time by offering new and different ways of learning. In quality afterschool programs, you see engaging, relevant activities that are often project-based, community-based or both, and designed to complement the school-day. You see linkages to the school day, but with content delivered in different ways by applying school day lessons to real world settings.

The afterschool research indicates that high quality programs can help students learn persistence and concentrate on tasks; develop better work habits and attendance in school; increase their physical activity; improve their grades; build self-confidence through service learning, team sports and performances; explore careers; and develop skills such as critical thinking and creativity.

Question from Bob Tate, Senior Policy Analyst, National Education Association:

For Ms. Bueter in particular: How did you talk about the extended learning day and why you wanted to make this change to parents, school staff members, students, and others in the community who would be affected? Which arguments that you made resonated most and which seemed less effective? Do you have a good “conversion” story or two (of someone who initially did not think they wanted to do this but changed their mind) to share with us? How was the issue of the additional time commitment handled with school staff? Was there significant opposition? What have been the implications for the school’s budget as a whole, including compensation for school employees in particular? When did you make the change and what has been both your experience and the reaction of others so far?

I realize I am well over my one question but hope you will be able to address as many of these as possible! Thank you! By the way, NEA is supporting Senator Kennedy’s bill to fund and carefully evaluate pilot extended learning time programs on a competitive basis. The bill number is S. 3431, the Time for Innovation Matters in Education Act of 2008. Gretchen E. Bueter:

We bring people in and we work with them to find what their needs and wants are so that we can fuse them with what education is telling us what we need to accomplish. Truthfully, the majority of our parents in the audience appreciated and welcomed a longer day. This certainly helps them with work schedules, etc. However, there are always the few who want to take their children out early for sports, etc. This is where we have to find a compromise. I have so many stories that I would like to offer. We can converse any time. Here is my number, 419-787-7385. Please feel free to contact me. Our staff was hired by interview process and agreement with the union and our student positions are filled by application process. Our parents sign a parent agreement to have their children attend this school. This is our tenth year in existence and we really experience no opposition, nor have we for a number of years now. In fact, each year we have had anywhere from 300 to 600 applicants.

Question from Ayeola Fortune, Project Director, Council of Chief State School Officers:

One challenge we know is truly making the additional time count. Can you explain how your school is using the extended time schedule to expand learning and engage students (i.e. the multi-disciplinary approach)?

Gretchen E. Bueter:

First of all, we have a 90 minute reading lock-down for the entire school. Each grade level receives 2 hours with the math specialist each week. Everyone (K-8) receives 30 minutes of a foreign language every day. We also allow for the fine arts and specials, as well as the core curriculum. Our day also includes 45 minute lunch periods. As a result of our weekly planning with all staff members, we coordinate projects, themes and curriculum.

Question from Mike Cherry, School Board member, Glenview District 34 ( k-8) Illinois:

The school day is a compromise between the students,parents and professional learning community. What is the best means to collaborate on find the optimal school day length? Is 452 minutes better than 390 minutes? How do you measure the outcome effect?

Gretchen E. Bueter:

Ib my opinion, the best way to collaborate on finding the optimal school day length is to weigh the expectations against the requirements of the standards. I can’t answer for each individual group the optimal time because it needs to be decided by each group as to their needs. For example, 90 minutes of reading a day and 30 minutes of foreign language plus their specials and core subjects. We measure the outcomes by all of our testing and involvement of our parents.

Question from Blake Seitz, Music Teacher, Gilmanton (WI) School District:

What is your opinion about year-round school?

Gretchen E. Bueter:

I think that a year-round school can be a good thing if arranged by 9 weeks on, 2 weeks off or something to that pattern. I also believe that the continued time and structure will eliminate down time for students’ learning.

Question from Diana Muller 1st grade teacher:

Why do you think adding MORE time will be effective? My first graders’ recess is at 2:15...we cram facts in their heads all day. They need to play.

Gretchen E. Bueter:

I know that more time is effective because we live it every day. We include down time when we hand in papers, when we walk to the bathroom, when we go to the lunchroom. Yes children do need to play, however, we need to try to make real learning fun.

Question from Nikita Ganatra, Teacher, IEC:

As an educator, I have noticed trends in student behavior such as low attention span, a need for a dog and pony show; and just an overall disengagement from education. How would having a longer day counter all of these problems? What types of learning activities are included to ensure retention of information rather than just a larger load of it? Thank you.

Gretchen E. Bueter:

A longer day is broken into many parcels. As the students learn and respond in these parcels of time, they have the ability to work and reflect, as well as react. It is good for individual teachers to offer excitement and involvement in the classroom always. For example, when a test has been completed, children should get up and exercise or stretch when submitting them, or perhaps between subject change, get up and move around the room or tell some stories or jokes. These are just some ways that we need to engage our students in learning and excite them to its results.

Question from James Sigler, Teacher, Carl Junction Primary 2-3 School:

How is technology used in your program? Is technology a part of your emphasis on increased on student on-task time?

Gretchen E. Bueter:

We incorporate technology in every area where we can. We have a computer lab as well as a few computers in every classroom, and we try to keep our children involved with a computer intervention program. When we first began, we also had a grant that gave a lap top to every family. Unfortunately, we no longer have that grant. We also try to use lcd projectors, laptops and smartboards when possible.

Question from Frank J. Hagen, Adjunct Faculty - Wilmington University & Principal - Retired (MD/DE):

While more learning time has the potential to improve student learning, it may not be the “silver bullet” to improving student achievement and/or reducing the achievement gap among identified student groups. Without the appropriate changes in “how we do things”, the addition of time is analgous to “rearranging the chairs of the Titanic”. What is the role and responsibilities of the school principal in initiating, making, monitoring, and sustaining the changes in “how we do things”?

Gretchen E. Bueter:

We have not rearranged the chairs, but have rebuilt the Titanic. That being said, not only the Principal but the entire staff must revamp their thinking and refresh their entire ways of approaching education.. We are all believers that if “you always do what you’vealways done, you will certainly get what you have always gotten. Thus, change is not only necessary, but invigorating to all of us and how we go forth in the future. I truly believe that the Principal is the main cheerleader and coxman in the boat. We must all agree to be on board the ship and sail off into the sunset together. Lastly, as principal, be readyto always model and live by the same expectations you hold for others; and continue to stay the course.

Question from Jeff Smink, Policy Director, National Center for Summer Learning:

Given the extensive research on the impact of the summer months on the achievement gap, how do you see summer learning programs fitting into the expanded learning discussion? Do you envision summer and extended year programs as simply an extension of the traditional school year or an opportunity for innovation and enrichment activities, in addition to academics?

An-Me Chung:

The good research and practices that exist from summer learning programs are another great example for those thinking about expanded learning in their community. Summer learning needs to be thought of in context of creating a seamless learning system throughout the day, and year-around.

Question from Courtney Schroeder, BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life):

How can after-school and summer learning providers effectively integrate the instruction that takes place during out-of-school time with what happens during the regular day? Any resources for best practices?

An-Me Chung:

Collaboration with school-day teachers, afterschool, and summer learning providers is essential for creating continuity and helping students make the most of their learning opportunities. A number of organizations such as Learning Points Associates, Center for Summer Learning, CCSSO,and SEDL tohave examples of such practices.

Catherine Gewertz (Moderator):

Some of you have asked about the research base in discussions of extended learning time. My colleague Debra Viadero is writing about that in a story in the current issue of Education Week. You can find it here: “Research Yields Clues on the Effects of Extra Time for Learning.”

Question from Debra Wilhoit, Librarian, Providence Day School:

How are parents reacting to an extended school day and / or an extended school year calendar? Do they react to the effect it has on family time, such as vacations, after school activities, such as piano and dance classes, athletic practices, etc.?

Gretchen E. Bueter:

Our parents seem to embrace it beautifully. All of our families seem to run normal lives that involve family issues and therefore continually try to work with us to find ways to make everything work - always putting their children’s education first.

Question from Tiwana Livingston, Parent, NYC Dept of Ed.:

Adding more days to make a well rounded curriculm is a good idea. I believe children who are struggling need more activities. Will these children get the additional activities art, music, etc. or be forced to get additional academic instruction?

An-Me Chung:

With intentional planning, activities such as art or music are also opportunities for students to get additional academic instruction. For example, students can learn math (e.g. spatial relationships, notes and measures) and history (e.g. history of an instrument, time period of artwork, famous composers and artists).

Question from James Sigler, Teacher, Carl Junction Primary 2-3 School:

Implementing effective teaching practices like Project-Based Learning, Cooperative Learning, and higher-level questioning often creates more support needs for the teacher like more preparation time and thought, as well as more professional development. How does your school provide support for these needs, especially with newer teachers?

Gretchen E. Bueter:

We have three hours set aside every week for grade level meetings, professional development and just general discussion of projects and the calendar. We also have professional development for one week at the end of the school year, which helps promote programs we hope to include in the school year.

Question from James Sigler, Teacher, Carl Junction Primary 2-3 School:

Nationwide educational change will not happen without the political wherewithall to make it happen. Who should be talking about these changes to education, and what talking points should they address?

An-Me Chung:

Its highly unlikely that any one person or organization will be able improve education outcomes for young people alone. Real and lasting improvements require collaboration across all sectors. It will take all of us - students, parents, elected officials, educators, leaders in business, community-based organizations, faith-based providers and others working together to bring about the change that is needed in our education system.

If we truly want our young people to excel in and out of the classroom, schools can’t do it alone. We need to better connect our education system with a future workforce that will thrive in today’s global economy.

Question from Jane Drennan, Principal, George Gibbs elementary:

What obstacles did you encounter with employee contract units and how did you overcome them? How was funding addressed?

Gretchen E. Bueter:

From the very beginning, our administration worked with the unions to collaborate through the entire process regarding funding, set-up, etc. General funds were used for additional days and additional time per days. At the very beginning, we incorporated grant money as well.

Question from Oscar Sanchez, Asst. Principal, Elementary School:

What tools do you use to monitor your students progress in after school programs in correlation to their academics during the regular school day?

Gretchen E. Bueter:

Progress is monitored through tutoring and results, as well as homework and signed reading assignments by parents daily.

Question from George Damon, Headmaster, American Community School at Beirut, Lebanon:

If we are going to expand the year for the student do you support giving the teacher more time to plan with colleagues, to create engaging experiences and to be prepared for this extended time?

An-Me Chung:

One of the common recommendations is to provide more professional development time and opportunities between and among educators.

Question from Jennifer Cowan, Program Director, The After-School Corporation:

Can you share some examples of ELT programs that feature a successful collaboration between the school and community partners? What are the keys to a successful partnership?

An-Me Chung:

In the last year, Citizen Schools, a middle school afterschool initiative has documented their successful partnership with the Edwards Middle School in Boston. You can find a report of the first year efforts at

Question from Glenda Morrison-Fair, After-School Dir., Candidate for School Board Greenville County:

Please talk about the urgent need for GOOD after school pgms that address other than reading and writing ( school afer school). We need programs that allow children to address the necessary skills for a 21st Century workplace. (making good choices, negotiation skills, technology literacy, and other work place ready skills.)

Gretchen E. Bueter:

I fully support the YMCA programs and university tutoring, as well as Big Brothers, Big Sisters and any other people that have programs established to address the in question needs. This is not only necessary, but a requirement.

Question from Annie Dye, Preschool English Dept Head, St George’s School, Bogota, Colombia:

I would like to hear about how you managed the process of changing from one system to another. Who needed to be included? What were the biggest challenges? Did you take any intermediate steps? Thansk!

Gretchen E. Bueter:

We decided to change after all of the necessary parties met and agreed to the specifics, i.e., administration and union. The biggest challenges were getting the program publcized to the parents and the public, and gaining their trust and support in thie endeavor. All of our steps were baby steps.

Question from Dave Hilyard, Coordinator, DEASA:

In schools where there is an established extended day, how has the role of the typical afterschool program changed?

An-Me Chung:

What I hear is that the schools have a greater appreciation of the afterschool programs. The opportunities to work closer together and with more children have created teams of school-day teachers and afterschool staff that are working together throughout the day to support students.

Catherine Gewertz (Moderator):

Thanks for all the great questions today, everyone! And thank you to our guests, An-Me Chung and Gretchen Bueter. For a package of stories about extending time, please see our anniversary coverage of A Nation At Risk. The transcript of this chat will be available on Education Week’s Web site shortly:

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