With Labor Day past, school is back in session throughout New Jersey, with some students having started classes as much as three weeks ago.
While many grumble about getting back to work and losing the hours they were able to spend swimming, surfing the Internet, or just chilling with friends, there are some New Jersey pupils who have it worse than others — from the student’s perspective.
The typical New Jersey student spent about 6 1/2 hours a day in school, with 5 hours and 44 minutes devoted to instruction in 2013-2014, according to an analysis of data from the most recent School Performance Reports issued earlier this year by the state Department of Education. For some, though, the day stretches much longer.
These are the schools where students spent the most time in class each day, according to the DOE’s data:
1. People’s Preparatory Charter School — 8 hours, 35 minutes
This Newark high school had 273 students in grades 9-11 in its third year in operation. It added a 12th grade last year. Its mission, according to its website, is to prepare “all of our students to graduate from the college of their choice as informed, involved and resilient citizens.” People’s Prep also tied with three other schools for having the longest total school day — including lunch and other noninstructional time — of 9 hours.
2. Great Oaks Charter School — 8 hours, 30 minutes
Missing the top spot by just 5 minutes, this Newark school also has a 9-hour total school day for students in grades 6 through 9. Newark is one of four locations in the country where Great Oaks operates college-prep charters. The school first opened in 2011.
3. Cicely Tyson Community Middle/High School — 8 hours, 7 minutes
This school in East Orange is the district public school with the longest instructional day in the state. The school enrolled 745 students in grades 6-12. Cicely Tyson School is arts-focused and has a full school day lasting 8 hours and 47 minutes.
4.-5. Team Academy Charter School — 8 hours
Located in Newark, Team Academy is one of a chain of 183 college-prep charter schools across the nation run by the KIPP Foundation — seven in Newark alone. A K-12 school, Team Academy enrolled 2,231 students.
4.-5. Environment Community Opportunity Charter School — 8 hours
This Camden charter serves 227 students in kindergarten through grade 5. Also known as ECO, the school opened 10 years ago.
6.-7. Freedom Academy Charter School — 7 hours, 55 minutes
This middle school for grades 6 through 8 in Camden enrolls 246 students. The DOE wound up placing the school on probation in 2013, but renewed its charter when it entered into an agreement with Democracy Prep Public Schools, which operates schools in several states. The school day lasted 8 hours and 45 minutes in total.
6.-7. Dr. Ronald McNair High School — 7 hours, 55 minutes
A high-achieving selective public school in Jersey City, McNair enrolled 707 students in grades 9 through 12. In total, students spent 8 hours and 35 minutes in school.
8. Jersey City Global Charter School — 7 hours, 45 minutes
The second Jersey City school on the list is a charter enrolling students in kindergarten through second grades. The small school enrolled 103 students. Its full day lasted 8 hours and 45 minutes.
Elizabeth’s six high schools all tied for the last spots on this list, all provided 7 hours, 39 minutes of instruction and full school days lasting 8 hours and 26 minutes. They are: Thomas A. Edison Career and Technical Academy, 700 students; Admiral William F. Halsey Jr. Leadership Academy, 1,100; John E. Dwyer Technology Academy, 1,070; Alexander Hamilton Preparatory Academy, 950 students; Elizabeth High School, 816 students; Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy, 826 students.