Think About It: The Longest Day - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

August 8, 2011

Think About It: The Longest Day

By the year 2014, all Hawaii public high schools must offer at least 5-½ hours of instruction a day, on average. A current estimate suggests that classrooms in local high schools stay in session for a little over 4-½ hours daily, so it looks like an extra hour of class time will have to be found over the next few years.

The key to this mandate in all schools- from elementary through high school- is going to be how this extra time is utilized. With two-years to come in to compliance, perhaps some upper education schools will come up with creative and collaborative means to provide worthwhile learning while not putting too much extra burden on already-stressed teachers. The fact is that school days in Hawaii were probably too short for too long. In some schools, kids get out before 1pm on Wednesdays- which makes the formation of latchkey kids an accepted practice here. In some instances, that home-alone phenomenon can lead to loneliness, boredom, social problems, and low self-esteem.

Maybe this extra time in high schools can solve the current dilemma of the possibility of losing the 4th Social Studies elective credit. Maybe students could actively choose how to use this extra school time to hone their skills in worthwhile subjects like economics, if available. Maybe some entrepreneurial schools will put together group projects, where students would be forced to take the initiative in order to earn credit. Whatever the decision is at each school, this extra class time will be put to good use with some creative idea-sharing, willing acceptance, and  commitment to optimize. Think about it…

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