Friends to Follow

Stay Connected

Faculty on the committee that is planning for Roger Sherman and Israel Putnam Schools extended day in 2014-15 school year attend presentation at Israel Putnam by Rob Travaglini of the National Center on Time and Learning on Monday, Aug. 26, 2013. | (Christopher Zajac / Record-Journal)
Robert Travaglini, director of school and district support in Connecticut for the National Center on Time & Learning, speaks to teachers and administrators during a planning meeting for the extended day programs launching in the 2014-2015 school year at Israel Putnam and Roger Sherman| (Christopher Zajac / Record-Journal)

Meriden schools look to expand longer day to Sherman, Putnam

MERIDEN — Adding more learning and enrichment time at elementary schools is a goal the school system is steadily working toward.

Today students at Casimir Pulaski School will participate in the school’s second year of extended-day programming. John Barry School students will have their first experiences with the extended-day model. With staff and students at Pulaski adapting well to an extra 90 minutes each day, teachers and administrators at Israel Putnam School and Roger Sherman School had their first extended-day planning meeting this week. They hope to offer the program in the 2014-15 school year.

Extended day programming provides students with additional learning time, including hands-on activities. There’s also extra time for breakfast and more physical activity.

On Monday, a group of teachers and administrators from Roger Sherman and Israel Putnam held their first meeting at Putnam.

“It was the kickoff,” said Rob Travaglini, director of school and district support with the National Center on Time and Learning. He also attended the meeting and provided insight. The center is a Boston-based nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding learning time. It provides training to school systems looking to follow its mission.

Over the next several months the teams will develop plans for implementing extended day. Schedules will be worked out to accommodate the longer days and curriculum focused on science, technology, engineering, and math.

“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for the kids,” said Israel Putnam Principal Anne Jellison. “This is just the beginning of the process.”

Last year, Israel Putnam had an enrichment program that featured teachers and people from the community teaching students something new and interesting. Jellison said this is something that could be offered if the school adopts an extended day.

Groups from both schools will meet throughout the year.

“It is a lot of work,” said Lysette Torres, Roger Sherman principal. “But our team is very excited about it.”

Torres, like Jellison, said she had a lot of teachers ask to be a part of the extended-day planning team.

“We would love to see extended day at all the elementary schools,” said School Superintendent Mark D. Benigni.

Making sure the program is successful at John Barry and Pulaski is the first priority. Administrators have already noticed Pulaski outpaced the school system and state with its Connecticut Mastery Test scores in grades 3 and 4. The school also showed the greatest reading growth on the test in grades 3 and 4. Pulaski also demonstrated greater proficiency in all areas of the test in grades 3, 4 and 5.

“The preliminary data looks promising,” Benigni said.

Attendance rates at Pulaski were also higher than average last year, Benigni said.

Even with such positive results, Benigni said the school system didn’t start the extended day model to improve test scores. Benigni explained the premise of extended day is to provide students with more learning time. Teachers can be creative and teach hands-on lessons that typically there’s not enough time to do.

Last year the school system was awarded an American Federation of Teachers Innovation Grant to start the extended- day program at Pulaski. The three-year grant, now in its second year, allows the schools to partner with local agencies and receive support from the National Center on Time and Learning. (203) 317-2279 Twitter: @KPrimicerioRJ

Back to MeridenNews
Top Stories of the Week

Warehouse full of tobacco products, $120,000 cash seized from Meriden …
MERIDEN — After a four-month investigation, the state Department of Revenue Services seized over $120,000 and more than two truckloads of tobacco Tuesday from a … more ...

Police clear teacher in classroom duct-tape incident …
SOUTHINGTON — A teacher at Southington High School has been cleared of criminal wrongdoing following an investigation into an incident in which police say he … more ...

Police identify hiker who died after fall in Hubbard Park …
MERIDEN — Police have identified the man who died after a fall in Hubbard Park last week. Mark Valenti, 49, of New Britain, died Sept. … more ...

Meriden man charged in stabbing at North Haven funeral …
NORTH HAVEN — A Meriden man has been charged after police say he stabbed someone several times during a funeral Wednesday morning. Robert Ferrie, 54, … more ...

Details emerge in delayed response to Meriden house fire …
MERIDEN — An audio recording and incident report from a house fire last month highlight communication issues that led to a delayed response. A longtime … more ...