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Extended School Year

“Most schools in the United States operate on the 10-month calendar that

was established when America was still an agrarian country.

But times have changed and many people propose doing away

with this ‘outdated’ system and moving to ‘year-round education.’"

                                                                    

(National Education Association)

Research indicates that the extended time that students are away from school during the summer months leads to a real learning loss, particularly for economically disadvantaged students. While low income students make similar achievement gains to other students throughout the school year, the achievement gap widens over summer vacation (Alexander, Entwisle & Olson, 2007). Year-round school helps diminish that summer loss. Because Lamar has a significant number of students who are economically disadvantaged -- currently 75 percent -- we believe that an extended year calendar can support students’ achievement.

Although two major meta-analyses of the effects of year-round schooling found mixed results, both studies did reach the following conclusions:

  • “Students in year-round schools do as well or slightly better in terms of academic achievement than students in traditional schools.

  • Year-round education may be particularly beneficial for students from low-income families.

  • Students, parents, and teachers who participate in a year-round school tend to have positive attitudes about the experience.”

(Huebner, 2010)

With an extended school year, Lamar students attend the same number of days per year, but we stretch out those days across the 12-month calendar. We shorten students’ summer break from the current 11 weeks to 7 weeks. Students typically begin in the second week of August and end the school year in late June. Each child will have 3 week-long breaks across the year in addition to the normal Thanksgiving, winter and spring breaks. In addition, Lamar offers two week-long intersessions taught by Lamar teachers, one targeting K-2nd students in the fall, the other focused on students in 3rd-6th grades in the spring before STAAR testing. Pre-K does not participate in either intersession. ACE students participate in one of the two intersessions.

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