An extra 90 minutes of online ed

Fifteen Chicago elementary schools will add 90 minutes of online reading and math instruction to the school day, reports the Chicago Tribune. Non-teachers — probably after-school activities staff — will supervise, saving money and avoiding the teachers’ union contract, which limits the length of the school day.

Federal stimulus money is expected to cover much of the cost.

. . .  the new initiative is the product of a separate online pilot program the district launched last year, which provided online math courses to certain elementary school students. In those schools, students were encouraged — but not required — to attend extended school hours. District officials say math scores increased dramatically as a result of the online classes.

At Rocketship charter schools in San Jose, which primarily serve low-income Hispanic students, elementary students spend about 25 percent of the school day working on computers in Learning Lab.

Learning Lab does not require certified teachers and allows Rocketship to reduce staffing by five teachers and five classrooms per school, saving $500,000 per year.

Test scores are very high for Rocketship Mateo Sheedy and the newer school, Rocketship Si Se Puede.

About Joanne