12/21/2014

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Traditional summer break may end for Grantham Elementary School

Traditional summer break may end for Grantham Elementary School
CLARKSTON, WA - An elementary school within the Clarkston district is considering a transition to year-round schooling.

There's a chance that kids at Grantham elementary will not be singing "schools out for the summer," if the plan for year round schooling becomes reality.

"Everybody at each layer would be involved in having a conversation on whether or not to move forward on that," said Weisner.

Clarkston Schools Superintendent Darcy Weisner is working with the school board and Grantham staff to see if year-round or continuance curriculum, is the best option for students. It's a trend that's slowly gaining support in Washington.

"We know in Yakima their looking at this, and in Spokane," said Weisner. "So we have two areas within eastern Washington that have this in place and the Grantham team will be in contact with them to find out just how successful it is."

Supporters of the year-round schooling system believe that the traditional two month summer break is responsible for the loss of knowledge.

"We know that when students go away for the summer, the learning that took place during the school year will regress," said Weisner. "So we would hopefully not lose as much learning from one school year to the next."

No final decision has been made, but research into what this system means for teachers, students and parents is going on at this time. Generally it means that a couple longer breaks throughout the school year will occur, instead of one really long summer vacation.

"It's basically six weeks of school, two weeks off, six weeks of school, two weeks off," said Weisner.

During those two weeks off students can participate in enrichment activities such as art and archery. Superintendent Weisner also said that the mandatory 180 days of school will stay the same, however the absence of the traditional summer vacation is the only major difference.

"It's just gonna be spread out over the year differently," said Weisner.

The Grantham team has been asked to continue collecting data and present their findings to the board at a later date.
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