Brock Elementary students are heading back to class Monday as the school starts its first year on a year-round schedule.
Students and parents attended an open house at the school on Sunday to kick off the new year. Board of Education officials said they expected backlash from parents, but the actual response was overwhelming.
Officials said most parents think this is the best thing to happen to their kids and they and the teachers are excited.
“For the most part, I'd say 90, 95 percent of the parents are eager as you can see by this turnout today,” said BOE officials Cornelia Hall. “They're eager to get started [Monday], whereas the rest of the kids don't even come back until August 3.”
This is the first trial for year-round school as Brock Elementary School administrators push to get off of the failing schools list, but the Board thinks it could be just the beginning for a better road ahead.
"We are able to avoid the summer learning loss that takes place when children are out for eight weeks at s time," said principal Serena Ruth-Gillians. "Right now our children are having anywhere from five and a half to six weeks off depending on whether or not they attended our summer intersession. So, they're able to continue reading, doing math and that way they don't forget what we did the previous school year and then have to start over at the beginning of the next school year."
"I think this is definitely a something that will help these students at this school and push them farther than where they could go in a regular school year," said teacher Danielle Wallace.
"We do not have the weeks out that a normal year-round school would have," Ruth-Gillians said. "We have what is called intersessions where we flip our schedule and provide: remediation, intervention or enrichment for our children, dealing with them based on their performance on the state mandated test or on our benchmark assessment."
The rest of Chatham County students have a few more weeks to enjoy summer. The first day of school for everyone else is Thursday, Aug. 3.
Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Ann Levett will celebrate the opening of the upcoming school year with a big celebration. The superintendent's kickoff is Friday at New Hampstead High School.
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