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Hot Springs School District considering year-round school calendar



Hot Springs, Arkansas – One school in Arkansas was using a year-round academic calendar a year ago. There are currently 10, and the Hot Springs School District (HSSD) may increase that number even further the following year.

On Thursday, the district conducted a forum with parents to explore the notion. Families’ faces showed worry and consideration despite the varied reception.

Lavon Chatman had only one thought when he entered the public conversation about a year-round school.

Initially, Chatman thought, “Oh, my gosh, they’re going to be going out and going to school all the time.”

Contrarily, he discovered. Summer would continue to exist under the HSSD conceptual calendar. It would only be cut down from eleven to seven weeks. Thanksgiving and Spring Breaks can be extended, and some weeks can be cut short.

“The number of student instructional days doesn’t change. Our students go for 178 days. Currently, they would still go 178 days,” Dr. Stephanie Nehus, Hot Springs School District Superintendent explained. “What would change would be the breaks.”

The Excell Center in Little Rock, all four schools in the Wynne School District, both schools in the McCrory, and all three schools in East Poinsett County are among the ten schools that currently follow a year-round schedule, according to the Arkansas Department of Education.

It’s a tiny portion of the hundreds achieved by conventional techniques. However, a year ago there was only one year-round school.

Superintendent Nehus said, “We are willing to explore this because we do think it would have a positive impact because it would minimize that learning loss that happens traditionally in the summer.”

Parents are concerned about daycare, summer employment, sports schedules, and other issues despite the potential benefits of education.

“For two weeks we need to put thousands of kids into childcare, there’s no place to put it,” said one man in the back.

Not long after another person emphasized, “Overall, I’m in support of this idea.”

A survey is being distributed to staff, parents, and high school students in order to cover all the bases.

Chatman said, “With everybody getting involved with that, I think it’d be a great change.”

The school board could vote on a year-round schedule as early as February and put it into effect the following year if the discussion is successful, according to Dr. Nehus.

It would take between three and five years to gather the data necessary to determine whether giving kids more structure throughout the year helps them learn better.

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