Alan McIsaac - Custom

Professional learning days will make up for added instructional time, says Education Minister Alan McIsaac. (CBC)

Lengthening the school year or making the school day longer for P.E.I. students is not in the plans, says P.E.I.'s Minister of Education Alan McIsaac.

Numbers from Statistics Canada show Island students receive the second-lowest number of classroom hours in the country.

That's almost 50 fewer hours per year compared to the national average for Grades 3 to 6.

Even if he wanted to extend the school calendar, the current contract with teachers won't allow it, said McIsaac.

McIsaac released the details last week for the 2014-15 school calendar, which includes adding more professional learning days for teachers without sacrificing time in the classroom

"What we're focusing on now is using all instructional time to the best that we can. And we think we can improve that, if we have these professional learning days that quality time will make up, and maybe even be better than more instructional time," he said.

McIsaac says the next school calendar will cover up to 2018.

He said he hopes to maintain the current number of school days through that period.