Students need more time in school, Grego tells Tiger Bay audience

Published Sept. 25, 2013

ST. PETERSBURG — With more than 30 years in education, Pinellas County school superintendent Mike Grego said Wednesday that there's no "silver bullet" to improve schools.

Extra time in school, however, is important, he said. Students spend about five hours a day on instruction and are in school only 180 days a year, he said.

"We need to expand that," Grego told members and guests of the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club, where he was the main speaker.

Since Grego started as superintendent a year ago, the Pinellas school system has added a six-week summer program called Summer Bridge and an extended learning program called Promise Time at 28 high-poverty schools.

He touted the benefits of those programs and answered a half-dozen audience questions, which ranged from how he felt about the new Common Core State Standards to how to improve respect for teachers to how to ensure that students feel safe in school in an era of increased cyberbullying.

Contact Cara Fitzpatrick at or (727) 893-8846. Follow her on Twitter @Fitz_ly.