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Longer schools days expected at 27 Palm Beach County elementaries

In an effort to increase student’s reading scores, 27 Palm Beach County elementary schools will be extending the school day an extra hour. The program expands the school day from six hours to seven, ending school around 3 p.m. instead of 2 p.m. in most cases.

The 27 schools mandated by state law for the additional hour for reading are on the state’s list of 300 elementaries with the lowest reading performance.

Only students who earned the highest possible score of a 5 on FCAT are exempt. Whether that additional hour for reading is done in the morning, at the end of the day or split up, depends on the school.

Twenty-five schools were on the bottom this year. However, the district still wants Pine Grove Elementary in Delray Beach and Hope Centennial Elementary in West Palm Beach, two schools that were on the list last year, to continue the extended day for further improvement. So far Pine Grove improved from a D last year to a B this year while Hope Centennial went from an F to a B, according to the Sun Sentinel.

Not all schools on the list are failing schools. For example, Pleasant City Elementary in West Palm Beach is an A-rated school and still on the list. Rankings are based on the percentage on student’s who passed the reading FCAT and the percentage of solid improvement.

Teachers at the affected schools support the concept in addition to getting paid an extra hour to teach reading. The cost of the program is expected to exceed $7 million, the Sun Sentinel reported.

Below are the 27 schools with the additional hour for reading:

Lake Park Elementary, Lake Park
Lincoln Elementary, Riviera Beach
Northmore Elementary, West Palm Beach
Roosevelt Elementary, West Palm Beach
Westward Elementary, West Palm Beach
Daystar Academy of Excellence Charter School, Boynton Beach
Highland Elementary, Lake Worth
Barton Elementary, Lake Worth
Lantana Elementary, Lantana
Starlight Cove Elementary, Lantana
Rolling Green Elementary, Boynton Beach
Galaxy Elementary, Boynton Beach
Forest Park Elementary, Boynton Beach
Pahokee Elementary, Pahokee
Glade View Elementary, Belle Glade
Rosenwald Elementary, South Bay
West Riviera Elementary, Riviera Beach
K. E. Cunningham/Canal Point, Canal Point
Pioneer Park Elementary, Belle Glade
Belle Glade Elementary, Belle Glade
South Grade Elementary, Lake Worth
Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary, Riviera Beach
Pleasant City Elementary, Riviera Beach
Benoist Farms Elementary, West Palm Beach
Glades Academy Elementary, Belle Glade
Pine Grove Elementary, Delray Beach*
Hope Centennial Elementary, West Palm Beach*

* Did not make the lowest 300, but the district decided to keep the extended day due to low performance last year.

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