Thousands of middle school kids will be toiling in classrooms as late as 6 p.m. as of this fall as part of the city’s effort to extend the school day.
Twenty middle schools will add an extra 2.5 hours of daily instruction for 2,000 sixth-graders under a program announced by city officials Monday.
“Often students who lose their way in school start to fall off track in the middle grades. It’s where the achievement gap really seems to grow,” said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who announced the program Monday along with Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott.
Extending the school day has long been a goal of education reformers, and dozens of city schools have longer days through flexible budgeting or partnerships with nonprofits.
But the latest plan is the city’s first organized push to try the strategy for struggling middle schools.
New York is also one of the first major cities to pilot a longer-day program focused on improving reading skills, following efforts focused on math in Houston and Denver.