Some Indiana school districts change calendar; some parents object
NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- Several southern Indiana school districts are changing their school calendar and moving to the balanced calendar schedule.
As they enjoyed their lunch, students at Hazelwood Middle School in New Albany were also enjoying the fact that May 22 was their last day of school. Starting the next school year on August 1st, students and teachers there will be on what's called a balanced or modified calendar schedule in the New Albany-Floyd County School Corporation.
As Hazelwood Middle Principal Jessica Waters explained, "We'll get a two-week break in the fall. We get our traditional winter break of two weeks in December and early January and then we also get a two-week break in the spring for spring break. A week in the fall and a week in the spring are supposed to be intersession where students can come back with their teachers and either get acceleration or enrichment."
Parent Amanda Nance's reaction: "I think it has its good and its bad, I think for kids like her. She has autism, she has a hard time adjusting at the end of the year when kids are out of control."
Some parents say so many two-week breaks makes finding childcare difficult.
"A lot of times there are summer programs that kids can go to that aren't available in the wintertime," said Nance.
But some administrators say they see no downsides to the new schedule. Instead, they say it will help students retain information that can be lost over the summer and could even improve test scores.
"The students and the faculty and staff still get the break in the summer, not the 10-week break we're used to, but an eight-week break," said Waters. "But we get some breaks in between quarters."
Greater Clark County Schools will also take part in the balanced calendar next school year. Like other districts, Greater Clark says it's designed to provide intervention to students who have fallen behind their grade level academically or who have exhibited behavioral issues that have interfered with academic progress.
The South Harrison Community School Corporation is also moving to the new calendar. West Clark Community School officials say it's doing the same thing, but with no intersessions.
"I think a lot of school districts are looking at doing what's best for the student and I think this is what's best for the student," said Waters.
Even with the balanced calendar, New Albany-Floyd County officials say students will still be in classes for 180 days.
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