More schools pushing to go to a balanced calendar schedule

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(WLNS) – While most kids have a few more weeks to kick back before school starts, some students are already back putting the pencil to the paper, since they are on a “balanced calendar” school schedule, one that many school administrators are hoping to move to.

The main reason schools want year-round school is because it means less time teachers have to take re-teaching information, after kids forget over the long break.

Parents with children at Windemere Park Charter Academy in Lansing say the balanced calendar helps students retain what they have already learned.

“It really does have an impact on that, I’ve seen it in my kids. I used to have to do extra reading and math and stuff with them over the summer just to maintain that with them and its way less now,” Parent of children at Windemere Rhonda Snook said.

This year Michigan is requiring 5 extra days of school so some districts have asked for waivers to start early instead of opening after labor day.

“I was just tickled pink that we were able tog et it,” Superintendent of Eaton Rapids schools Bill DeFrance said.

DeFrance sys they were able to start early this year, and although they have been talking about a balanced calendar for some time, there has been a push back from parents.

“Either we haven’t explained it well or there is not an overwhelming movement for us to have school year round,” DeFrance said.

Over at Windemere, Dean Erin Guess says when they initially implemented the year round school parents were also hesitant.

“I think it was just the unknown,” Guess said.

Over time, Parents, Teachers and Students found the benefits of the schedule change.

“Really it allows us to feel refreshed and always ready to teach, students are always ready to learn,” Guess said.

Despite some negative response, David Crim with Michigan Education Association says its only a matter of time before this change is more of a norm across the state.

“It is a trend, it is a slow growing trend,” Crim said.

The other major issue with transferring to a balanced calendar is a state law in Michigan not allowing schools to start before Labor day, to help with the tourism industry, but districts are able to get waivers to get around that road block.

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