Local schools take short summer break; focus on year-round education

Local schools take short summer break; focus on year-round education

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by ANN SHERIDAN / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @SheridanWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on June 6, 2013 at 7:09 AM

Updated Thursday, Jun 6 at 7:48 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Friday’s the day: the last day of school for CMS. But not all students will be getting off for 10 weeks; the kids at Druid Hills Academy are not packing up and saying goodbye. Students here are still learning. 

Zion Simpson’s summer essay is still on display.

"I would like to go to Disney World because that it would be fun,” he read as he looked over his work.

This CMS school will be one of two schools to do a new continuous calendar. Fifty days on, two weeks off, three times, and then a four-week break.

It’s a dream come true for their principal Alison Hiltz, who believes this calendar will help bridge the achievement gap. You won’t believe just how much she says kids forget after summer break.

"So we’re pushing the boulder up the mountain. And we get to the top of the mountain and the boulder runs back down the hill. Because here we go to summer break and we do the beginning year benchmark, and they lose a half a year,” she said.

Hiltz says she didn’t lose many kids when she announced the new plan and didn’t lose many teachers either. She sent a note to her staff the day they returned from winter break.

"The email I sent out was, ‘I want you to imagine how you’re feeling right now. How relaxed, rested and focused you are. You will be able to do that three times next year, then have a four-week break,’” she said.

Travis Rivens is a literacy specialist at Druid Hills Academy.

"Because, can you imagine having to pick back up almost a whole quarter?  Reviewing and getting back to where they need to be? This time we won’t lose all of that,” she said.

The hope is that most kids will think like Zaria Perry; she’s not focused on what she isn’t getting to do this summer. She’s looking to what she will be doing when she returns.

“I'm excited about learning and reading,” Zaria exclaimed.

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