CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - The amount of time students spend in school each day is about to increase for Caddo Parish. The longer days will make a shorter school year. Caddo Parish school leaders say the key to the new schedule is to maximize the amount of time teachers have with students.
"We know if they have more time with the students then the students will be more successful," said Caddo Parish School's Chief Academic Officer, Keith Burton.
He said school leaders have spent months tailoring the new schedule.
"The central office didn't create schedules for our schools who's creating those school schedules are those principals and it's based on the needs of their teachers the needs of the students and the needs of those families," said Burton.
Starting Monday, the the school day will be 25 minutes longer. Parents will also notice longer breaks and a shorter overall calendar.
"The bell will ring around 10 minutes earlier than it did last year, and our school day will go 15 minutes longer," explained Burton. "When you change the number of days you're actually decreasing absenteeism."
The district hopes to help better foster student development.
"Especially with the new standards Louisiana has adopted, the teachers need to be able to have more time to go in depth with the learning allow those kids the opportunity to spend more time with the literature."
The changes will also force schools to really focus on quality over quantity.
"We want to get away from things that are a waste of time," said Burton,"A lot of our students are dropped off 15-20-30 minutes prior to the bell ringing so the only thing we're doing is maximizing that time."
A few parents we talked to tell us they're looking forward to the change.
"I think it's a good idea, to give kids extra time with the teachers to learn a little bit more," said Caddo Parish Parent, Shatoria Jackson.
"I think the extra time with the teachers is a good thing if they need that help is a good thing," said Rosalyn Monette, "Maybe it will give the parents a little bit more time if they're running late from work, because a lot of people don't always get off on time so they have to rush. It will be better they can take their time, they know their child is well taken care of and they're with a teacher or parent so they're definitely learning something."
The district shared a fact sheet with parents to answer some questions about the new schedule. Click here to review the handout.