In late January the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles announced it would become the first school system in California—public or private—to move to a 200-day academic year at its elementary campuses. But after complaints from parents that the longer year would disrupt family schedules, diocesesan chancellor Mary Elizabeth Galt said that the decision on whether to add instructional days will be left to schools.
According to Cardinal Roger Mahony, the archdiocese planned to add 20 days to the school year because of the clear relationship between time spent in an academic setting and increased student performance. "Elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles are responding to this critical national issue in order that our students grow up to be successful leaders in the global workforce," Mahony said in a statement.
Kevin Baxter, the archdiocese's superintendent of elementary schools, said about 10 schools already operate on an extended schedule, and the Los Angeles Times reported that 70 percent of the archdiocese's schools have said they will adopt the extended year; some are expected to phase it in over two years. The move will result in slightly higher teacher salaries and tuition costs, he said.