Too Early? School’s Already in Session in Denver

One high school begins classes seven weeks ahead of other schools in the district.

Denver School, Manual High School
School is back in session at one Denver high school. (Photo: coloradopreservation.org)
Jenny Inglee is a Los Angeles-based journalist and the Education Editor at TakePart.

Students at Manual High woke up bright and early this morning for their first day of classes. These aren't kids attending summer school; instead, they are starting the 2012-2013 school year seven weeks earlier than students who attend other Denver public schools.

Manual has extended its school year to 210 days, Fox 31 Denver reports. On average, school years are 180 days long. The school has also added an extra hour to each school day.

Although 210 days is longer than most other schools, not all of the students' time will be spent in the classroom. Twenty-five days will be taken up with off-campus learning excursions.

The reason for the change is to improve student achievement. The Huffington Post reports that this isn't the first time this particular school took action to promote student growth. "In 2006 Manual was shut down for a year due to poor test scores and dropping enrollment, but since its reopening, graduated 89 percent of its 'first' senior class."

Manual's director of engagement, Vernon Jones, told the Denver Post in 2011 that they "really understand a successful school is supported by a successful community. We've been doing this since we re-opened, but now we have a more formal way of organizing that component."

How do you feel about a 210-day school year? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Jenny is the Education Editor at TakePart. She has been writing for TakePart since 2009 and previously worked in film and television development. She has taught English in Vietnam and tutors homeless children in Los Angeles. Email Jenny | @jennyinglee

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