Paterson schools to offer Saturday morning classes

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The Paterson School District will soon offer extra Saturday morning classes for students who wish to get ahead.

Rosie Grant, with the nonprofit group Paterson Education Fund, recently held a forum with district students.  She says they told her that they want more rigor, activities and engagement in their education.

"I just didn't expect this from the kids but they're focused. They have high dreams for themselves where they want to be in four, six, 10 years,” she says.

The pilot program will be offered to all students from kindergarten through eighth grade. The 3.5-hour classes are not mandatory, and advanced classes will be offered.

"Instead of about 45 to 50 minutes after school, when at the end of the day the teachers are tired, the children are tired, now on Saturday everybody is well-rested but also it'll be a focused program based on the student needs,” says acting Superintendent Eileen Shafer.

Deputy Superintendent Susana Perón says the students are “going to get to think about how to solve problems that they would face every day at home.” She says that there are going to be science experiments and that they are trying to get some art and music classes as well.

Some parents who spoke to News 12 New Jersey say that their children would be interested in the program.

“[My 13-year-old] would love it.  She wouldn't have a problem doing extra work on Saturday,” says mother Migdalia Lopez. “She has her friends over all the time just to do extra work and homework."

While the classes are not mandatory, school officials say that they will be highly encouraging several parents to have their kids sign up. 

Applications will begin before the Thanksgiving holiday. Teachers already within the district will get priority for the Saturday jobs.

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