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Schools open in august to help students

TRENTON, N.J. - A few New Jersey districts are breaking with local tradition and starting the school year in August. The state-operated Paterson School District opened three elementary schools last week, giving students an extra 15 days of school. It's the first year of a pilot program that could lead to more students spending more time in class. "Studies have shown that students can benefit by partaking in an extended school year," says Pat Chalmers, district spokeswoman. "We're doing this to hopefully help our students perform better, to give them a firm foundation, particularly in the early grades."

New digs keep students on campus

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For years, college dorms were fairly standard: a square, concrete-block room, no carpeting, often no air conditioning, one closet, narrow beds.

But that will change at Texas Christian University this fall when the school adds apartment-style housing aimed at bucking the national trend - 86 percent of US undergraduates and 93 percent of graduate students living off campus. TCU has replaced some dormitories from the 1950s with apartments, featuring four private bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living area, and a kitchen with appliances including microwave, dishwasher, refrigerator and stove. Students have more space, privacy, and the ability to cook more.

Teachers learn how to be good hostages

HAMDEN, CONN. - A group of Connecticut educators went back to school this summer -to learn how to be good hostages. About 225 school and law enforcement officials attended the first day of a three-day summer institute presented by the Connecticut Association of Schools and Connecticut Center for School Change at Quinnipiac College. The FBI is showing teachers how to react in a hostage situation.

"In 40 years in education, I never thought I'd be hosting an education conference on this topic," said Timothy Doyle, director of the association's Center for Early Adolescent Educators. "It's a shame, but a fact of life." The conference topic - chosen before the massacre at Columbine High in Littleton, Colo. - drew the association's largest audience in four years.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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