DENVER – It's basic arithmetic. Longer school days + Longer school years = Longer instructional time

But does longer instructional time equal better student performance? Denver Public Schools says yes.

Thursday is the first day of school for students at two schools in the Denver Summit Schools Network, a group of schools that broke off from Denver Public Schools four years ago, by becoming a "zone of innovation."

"The school improvement efforts that were put into effect for the 2011-2012 school year have resulted in student growth and proficiency gains that have outpaced historical trends and led to a significant increase in the number of students attending Far Northeast schools," DPS said in a press release inviting the media to attend a first day of school event at McGlone Elementary.

The press release also said, "This school year, enrollment of 6th- and 9th-grade students is projected to be up 40 percent since 2010, the year before the improvement initiative began. Also since 2010, the number of students who graduate from FNE schools has increased nearly 50 percent."

According to the 10 FNE schools in the DSSN had the following overall performance grades:

Collegiate Prep Academy – C-

Denver Center for International Studies at Ford K-5 – B-

Denver Center for International Studies at Montebello 6-12 - C

Green Valley Ranch Elementary School – B

High Tech Early College – B

McGlone Elemenatary School – C

Montbello High School – F

Noel Community Arts School (high school) – D

Noel Community Arts School (middle school) – C-

Rachel B. Noel Middle – (not available)

Smith Elementary – (not available) is a coalition of 18 community organizations that grade schools based on academic achievement, academic growth and gaps, and college and career readiness.

DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg will be welcoming students, faculty and staff back to school at McGlone Elementary Thursday morning. 9NEWS Reporter Nelson Garcia will speak with Boasberg and he'll be taking a closer look at how effective increased performance time has been on student performance.

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