A number of area schools are considering the possibility of implementing a different school calendar than has been the norm for more than a century. North Judson-San Pierre School Superintendent Lynn Johnson told WKVI that she presented the school board with a presentation for the 2015–2016 school calendar using the “balanced calendar” system which stretches breaks out over a school year.
“A balanced calendar means that your breaks are balanced throughout the school year, and so basically instead of having a long summer break, you have intersessions every nine weeks. One of those breaks would be for intersession for remediation, so instead of waiting until the summer break, we’re able to remediate kids and, hopefully, in the future, also offer enrichment opportunities during that time period,” Johnson explained.
Johnson said NJ-SP is considering implementing the calendar along with the Knox, Oregon-Davis, Culver, Triton, and Plymouth school corporations, among others. She said community meetings will be held in March at all the area school corporations to present them with information about the balanced calendar system.
The balanced calendar system includes two-week intersession breaks between each nine-week session, but would require students to start school earlier in August. The calendar would also include a summer break, but it would be no longer than eight weeks long, according to Johnson.
“The major benefit is that we don’t have that large learning gap over the summer break. We’re no longer an agrarian society; kids don’t need to be available to work on the family farm. It’s a model that was established 150 years ago and it’s just no longer relevant. So the balanced calendar is not a year-round calendar; it’s still 180 days, it’s just broken up differently,” Johnson said.
The first meetings will be held on March 4 and March 6 at the North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation, beginning at 7 p.m.