The proposed schedule would see kids begin school in late July after a seven-week summer break and have two weeks off after each nine-week grading period

By Jen Juneau
January 18, 2019 12:35 PM
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A school district in South Carolina is considering a hefty shift in its academic calendar to lessen the potential negative effects of having too long of a break between classes.

According to Charleston-based outlet The Post and Courier, Oconee County School District — which is located in the northwest area of the state — is proposing a modified calendar for the 2020-2021 academic year that would reduce the number of weeks off during the summer from 11 to seven.

However, students would have more time off spread throughout the year in the form of a two-week break following each of the year’s four nine-week grading periods. Classes would begin in late July — a big change from the current start date of the third Monday in August.

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The schedule shift would make Oconee County the first in South Carolina to adopt the year-round timetable for its public schools.

It’s a move District Superintendent Michael Thorsland told The Post and Courier they’re looking to make, in part, to “reduce summer slide,” which is the idea that more time between classes means kids become more detached from what they’ve learned and have to work harder to dig back into that knowledge.

“And some teachers like the idea of just spacing out their breaks so they can recharge in October [and] March,” Thorsland added.

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Administrators told NBC Charlotte that another benefit to the year-round schedule would be that since many students study for their end-of-year exams over Christmas break, the extra time off during that period would afford them more of an opportunity to do so.

According to NBC Charlotte, the administrators said 55 percent of parents they polled in a survey sent out were in favor of the proposed schedule, which the school board is expected to vote on in March.