Re-2 option: Please don’t call it year-round schooling |

Re-2 option: Please don’t call it year-round schooling

To focus on the needs of the students in the future, the Garfield Re-2 School District is studying the possible implementation of a Student Achievement Calendar in 2003-04. The school district is looking to provide more continuous learning and frequent assessments for all students.

The Student Achievement Calendar would begin school the first or second week of August and continue for nine weeks. Assessment of student progress would begin and the district would take a one-week break in mid-October. An additional week would offer the opportunity for extended learning or enrichment with small enrollments to assure individual attention.

The calendar then resumes for nine weeks, with the next break being winter break. In addition to the normal vacation, a third week would be offered to once again assess student achievement and provide extended learning and enrichment. School resumes for another nine weeks until spring break, which would occur before CSAP testing, offering more extended learning and enrichment. The nine-week fourth quarter would end around the first week of June. Additional expanded learning opportunities would be offered during early June or before the next school year begins in August, depending upon the needs of individual schools.

With all the added assessments and extended learning opportunities, students will receive individual attention and appropriate work to truly engage them at their various levels.

Students and families will have more opportunities for vacations at different times throughout the year, and there are still seven to eight weeks in the summer.

The district’s coordinating council has been directed to examine all aspects of the Student Achievement Calendar and make a recommendation by February of next year. Students, parents, staff and community members will have an opportunity for input. If these groups see the benefits of altering the calendar to focus on achievement of all students, the school board will take that as a positive sign to move forward.

The Garfield Re-2 School District is not considering moving to a year-round calendar. The School Board has not approved any major changes to the calendar and would not until extensive study, review and comment is considered.

The district wants parents and community members to know this concept is all about time and how it can be more efficiently used to positively impact students’ opportunities to learn. The district is focused on student achievement as its number one priority, and we are compelled to examine every possibility to enhance student success.

Kay Vasilakis works in public relations for the Re-2 schools.

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