Proposed charter schools have innovative schedules

Mar 6, 2013 by

Some schools might not be out for the summer.

A group of charter school applicants are seeking to stretch their academic clocks by keeping students in school longer — including by scrapping the blissful two-month summer break.

The innovative uses of class time were proposed by several aspiring city charters that are among 44 that submitted letters of intent to New York’s two authorizing bodies last month.

The schedule-altering schools proposed for 2014 include:

* The E3 Charter School, which is proposed for upper Manhattan. It would keep kids in classes until the end of July. The trimester schedule would extend the school year to 221 days — roughly 30 more days than traditional public schools.

* The Harlem Steam Academy, which, on top of its regular daytime schedule, will offer “night school” classes of just 18 students that begin at 6 p.m. or later. Seats would go to teens who have family or work obligations during the day.

* The Rosalyn Yalow Academy Charter School, which proposes to keep all its Bronx elementary-aged kids in school for 10 hours a day, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. — longer than a typical work day. The academy also plans to teach students fencing five days a week.

“There’s all kinds of interesting ideas coming out,” said Michael Regnier, policy director for the New York City Charter School Center. “I think it’s an example of charter schools seeking to find way to meet students’ needs in different ways than were done before.”

Other novel ideas for charters include the Arturo Toscanini Charter School, named after the famed Italian conductor who lived in The Bronx at the time of his death.

The aspiring Bronx charter would offer instruction in Italian language, culture and history starting in kindergarten, according to its Web site.

In Queens, students at the Ari Preparatory Charter School would be among the youngest anywhere to choose majors — in the fourth grade.

While they would also get the typical courses, students would choose a focus of study through the eighth grade of computer technology, culinary arts or visual and performing arts.

via Proposed charter schools have innovative schedules –

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