Longer School Days Boosts Attendance & Achievement in Meriden, CT

Kathleen Megan of the Hartford Courant wrote a great article last week on the Casimir Pulaski Elementary School in Meriden, CT, one of our TIME Collaborative schools beginning their third year with an expanded school schedule.  Since they’ve added 100 minutes to their school day they have seen a boost in attendance rates to the high 90 percentiles, student achievement scores in math and reading have increased, and the school is full of motivated, happy, students.

"The kids are incredibly excited to come to school, more than I've ever seen in my life," said Dave Wheeler, who has taught at Pulaski since it opened in 1972 and says the longer days have also been a "booster" for him late in his career. 

"The school day now features some of the hands-on enrichment that we know students love," Meriden Superintendent Mark Benigni said, "things that quite honestly had been stripped from schools across the nation" to make time for improving test scores…We are putting back some of the fun learning activities we know engage students and make school fun." He also went on to say, "We didn't launch this solely to improve standardized test scores. We did it because we thought students would enjoy and benefit from it."

With fun enrichment classes added back such as robotics, woodworking, scrapbooking, guitar lessons, Zumba and more, students look forward to going to school.  Emily Anastasio, a fourth-grader at Pulaski said she likes the expanded day because "you get to do a lot of fun things," from exercising to "technology labs" to scrapbooking and making a pencil holder. "School is fun as it is, but adding this makes it more fun."

We are proud of the achievement of Casimir Pulaski and are excited to continue to support them as they continue to implement high-quality and sustainable expanded learning time. Read the whole article here