The Cherry Hill Board of Education unanimously ratified a contract with the district's teachers Monday night that will extend the school day for middle and high school students.

The Cherry Hill Education Association voted last week to accept the two-year pact, which is retroactive to July 1. The average salary increase is 3.36 percent during the current academic year and 2.93 percent in 2013-14.

In addition, the school day will begin 30 minutes earlier for secondary students and teachers, starting in the fall. The high school day will run from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; middle school students will be in class from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The district said the contract would add the equivalent of 14 days to students' instructional time. Elementary teachers, but not their students, will report 30 minutes earlier.

Some parents were unhappy with the change, citing studies that show adolescents need more sleep and would perform better academically if classes began later. District officials said the time was added to the start of the day so it would not impact after-school activities.   - Dan Hardy