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The pandemic has persuaded Atlanta to extend the elementary school day

April 19, 2021
The additional 30 minutes of instructional time each day will help students who have fallen behind because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Elementary schools in the Atlanta district will extend the instructional day by 30 minutes in 2021-22 to help students who have fallen behind academically because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the extended day will enable schools to fit in more instruction.

“All schools are required to implement an intervention, acceleration or enrichment block during the school day, and in order to accommodate this requirement at the elementary level, 30 minutes will be added to the elementary school day,” Chief of Schools Anita Williams told board members at a recent meeting.

Middle and high school schedules will remain the same. They will add academic intervention time into the existing school schedule.

Elementary schools now start at 8 a.m. and end at 2:30 p.m. The district has not yet determined how they will change the schedule to fit in the additional time.

The district previously announced it would make in-person learning the default option next school year, though online options will be available for students.

It also plans to return to a five-day-a-week schedule, instead of reserving Wednesdays as an at-home independent work day. That has been the practice since students began returning to school buildings in January.

Elementary school employees will be compensated for the additional time; funding will come from federal Covid relief aid.

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