DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado is one of five states where a group of students will soon start spending more time in class, as a program looks at what adding 300 hours to the school year would mean in terms of learning.

The push to add to the school year is being paid for with government funds, and with help from the Colorado Legacy Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the National Center on Time & Learning.

About 5,000 students in the following districts will see the longer day starting in the 2013 school calendar:

– Denver Public Schools
– Boulder Valley Public Schools
– Jeffco Schools
– Adams 50

Gov. John Hickenlooper is in Washington and joined Education Secretary Arne Duncan for the announcement.

“That extra time with their teachers or within a structured setting means all the world,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said. “It means it allows them to continue the momentum they had the day before. It means they don’t slip back over the summer. It allows them to really deliver.”

The governor says Colorado will look at various ways to add the hours by using technology or perhaps even staggering when teachers come to school.

RELATED: Education Officials Hope More Time In Classroom Will Give Students Access To More Well-Rounded Curriculum

Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Tennessee are also participating.

“The goal here is not more time, the goal here is more learning,” said Duncan.

Hickenlooper said school districts share a common theme when speaking about what their needs are.

“The one continuous kind of common theme that goes again and again is that we need more time with kids,” he said. “That extra time with their teachers and within a structured setting means all the world.”

Among the five states, the pilot program will affect almost 20,000 students in 40 schools. The goal is to expand the program to more schools, particularly in low income neighborhoods.

“I think this is the kernels of a national movement,” Duncan said.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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