School days could soon be longer for some MCS students

By Jamel Major - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Students who attend any of the city's most trouble schools may soon be spending more time in the classroom.

If the state of Tennessee approves a Memphis City Schools proposal, by next January, the district's eight lowest achieving schools will have a longer school day.  

Schools involved include:

  • Trezevant High
  • Sheffield High
  • Northside High
  • Manassas
  • Kingsbury
  • Hamilton
  • Frayser High
  • Raleigh-Egypt Middle.

The state is considering approving approximately $68 million dollars in federal Race to the Top Funds for Memphis City Schools to use on its most troubled schools.

According to school officials, the schools will have an extended learning day, which will consist of one extra hour of instruction each day.  The district says it will focus on enhancing literacy, accelerated math, and science, meaning rigorous advanced course work and college entry exam support.

"Whatever it takes to get our kids off the street to graduate and to pass all the T-CAPS and whatever other tests they got," said Kathy Butler. "I'm here for it."

Butler's grandchildren attend Frayser High and Raleigh-Egypt Middle School. She doesn't mind the extra hour of class time, but understands why some people may be concerned about the proposed plan.

"You also got to have enough teachers," she said. "You can't put so much on them. There's only so much in an hour they can do."

The proposal calls for teachers to have an extended school year, so they work on strategies to address students needs.  We're told the district still has to wait on the state's approval before the plan can be implemented.

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