Eagle County School District wants your opinion about year-round school | VailDaily.com

Eagle County School District wants your opinion about year-round school

To voice your opinion

For English, access this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/eaglecalendareng

For Spanish, access this survey: https://es.surveymonkey.com/s/eaglecalendarspa

EAGLE COUNTY — Dear parental units, come down off the ceiling, assume the lotus position and repeat like a mantra, “The school district is not going to year-round classes.” At least, not without your approval.

The school district’s calendar committee has a survey out that asks people about several calendar options for the 2015-16 school year.

One option is a year-round model.

“I think some people are incorrectly assuming that because we are asking about it (a balanced calendar) this means we are doing it,” said Superintendent of Eagle County Schools Jason Glass. “This is not the case.”

The district is trying to hear perspectives from throughout the community, Glass said.

“The school board will ultimately decide the calendars, and it will be based on the preferences we hear from the community and staff,” Glass said.

The 2015-16 calendar should be ready by January, when the school board usually approves it most years.

Glass said he expects only incremental changes, such as adding a three-day weekend in October.

“The only way I would recommend a radically different calendar is if it were what the community wanted to do,” Glass said.

How it would work

Year-round schools spread the same number of school days over a year. Traditionally, summer breaks usually run about 10 weeks.

In Eagle County’s trial balloon, it would mean a three-week break in October and another in March/April. School would start around Aug. 10 and end June 15.

The goal in even entertaining the notion of year-round school is to alleviate the slide most students experience during the summer break.

Whether it actually works is a matter of some disagreement in the academic community and has spawned innumerable studies.

About 4 percent of the country’s students attend year-round schools,

A study by Steven McMullen and Kathryn E. Rouse suggests that year round schooling has essentially no impact on academic achievement of the average student.

“While the number of year-round schools is on the rise, there is currently little consensus on the relative benefit (or cost) such a schedule affords,” McMullen and Rouse said.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.