Students get ready for a longer school day at 5 Manatee county schools

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MANATEE  COUNTY FL, ---- Manatee county school grades released last month... will have a lasting impact on many students.  Five schools in the district are among the lowest reading performers in the state and officials say it will result in a major schedule change.

"If your school is identified in the lowest 100, it is required by state statute to extend the day by one hour," said Deputy Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene.

Samoset, Daughtrey, Oneco, Palmetto and Orange Ridge-Bullock elementaries are the 5 schools in Manatee County among the lowest 100.  Greene says the children at those schools will spend the additional hour working on their reading skills.  A move many hope will improve reading test scores.

"More time with reading instructions will help these students with the reading process," added Greene.

 And many in the community like Beth Lasher are celebrating the effort.

"I think it's a good idea, I think they should be in school all year round," said Lasher.  She adds focusing on those who need the extra help will result in a positive out come.   "Education is important. It's what sets people free so I think the more education you can get the better."

Last year Roger Gardens Elementary was the only Manatee County School among in the lowest 100.  Greene says the fact they Rogers tests score have improved is proof that the process works.

"It's a testament that, the additional hour helps students become more proficient. It doesn't mean they are where they want to be yet, it just means we've improved their reading scores to a point that they are no longer in the lowest 100," said Greene.

Officials says they've worked out the details of the additional hour and it will be added at the end of the school day. Which students at those 5 schools will get released from school at about 4 pm.