There is a small but significant change coming to HHS next year in the fact the school day will be ending at 2:16 instead of 2:06. First period will still start at 7:25 am. This gives 10 minutes of additional instructional time for each school day. In terms of total time on learning, it translates to an additional 5 school days a year. That might be hard to believe at first, but any additional time during the day multiplied by the 180 days we are in school every year is significant. This actually means that Hanover, having a 6 hour and 51 minute school day, will now be higher than neighboring districts such as Norwell and Hingham (each with 6 hours and 42 minutes).
The extended school day was made official by a vote of the school committee during their April 8th meeting. It is a part of the new teacher’s contract between the Hanover Teachers Association (the labor union that all Hanover teachers and professional staff are members of) and the School Committee for the next three fiscal years.
According to Superintendent Mr. Ferron, “The increase in instructional time is critical as the Hanover Public Schools plan to adopt and implement a new math curriculum in grades k-8 as well as prepare all students for new state assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards (PARCC exams).” While HHS is not receiving a new math curriculum as a part of the Vision 2020 initiative, the additional time can still be useful for preparing for the rigorous new exams.
Mr. Paquette said it has not yet been decided how the high school will use the additional 10 minutes. “We now need to think very carefully on how to best use this time,” he said.
News of the change received mixed reactions from students.
“I think it’s upsetting because we’re not coming in 10 minutes later,” said sophomore Caitlin Dever.
Junior Alex Zwart felt we have a long day already. “It’s going to be really weird.”
Niamh Kenney, a sophomore, said she doesn’t really mind the extra 10 minutes. “I don’t think it will make much of a difference.”
Sophomore Chris Sellier said he’d be okay with the change if the extra time is added to the lunch period. “I’ll be for that because I so need my grubbin.’ But if it’s for classes, it’s a waste of my time.”
Michelle Leary, a junior, worried how the later dismissal time would impact after school activities including work and sports. But her main concern was the fact that students didn’t have a say in the decision. “We should have input on what effects us.”