Some New Haven students head to class on Saturdays

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — You probably think of weekends as being days off from school for kids, but some students at four different schools in New Haven were back in class on Saturday morning.

It was the first day of the New Haven Public Schools Saturday Academy. News 8 stopped by Roberto Clemente Leadership Academy where it looked more like a weekday than a Saturday morning. More than 80 students in grades 3 through 7 enrolled in the Saturday academy at that school. Dozens more enrolled at three other schools in the Elm City.

“We’re trying to encourage all students that learning is fun on a Saturday,” said Charles Gore, a paraprofessional at Roberto Clemente Leadership Academy.

Students started the day off at 8 o’clock. After breakfast they played a game together in the gym. They then headed off to their classrooms to work on math and reading with a focus on technology. The curriculum also includes team building exercises where kids learn to work together. They went home at noon.

“Kids will build some better social skills with each other to cope,” said Pam Franco, the school principal. “I think that our kids in this day and age do a lot of social media and they bring some of that to school.”

As you might expect some of students were not sure they wanted to be in the classroom on a Saturday morning.

“At first when the teacher recommended it to me I was like waking up on a Saturday is too much,” said sixth grader Julianna Rodriguez. “But then I decided I’m going to do it.”

Many students didn’t mind, however. They hoped the Saturday Academy would help them boost their test scores.

“I want to get a good education so I can make it to Yale or Harvard,” said Regina Sancana, a sixth grade student.

This is the first time New Haven has offered a Saturday class program like this. Kids can still enroll.
Educators are hoping this year won’t be the last.

“I hope we see great results from it and that also not only things that we can see in data but the result of kids having more self-esteem,” said Franco.

This program will continue until June.

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