Summer as students know it â€” nearly three months of freedom between May and September â€” would be a thing of the past under a proposal before the Oklahoma City School Board on Monday.
Board members will vote on a plan to reduce the traditional summer break by a month in the state's largest district, using that time to create a two-week break in October and longer winter and spring breaks.
Already, seven schools in the 40,000-student district are on â€œcontinuous learning calendars,â€ and the district has been talking for more than a year about the benefits of the plan.
â€œI absolutely love it,â€ said Anna King, a member of the Parent Teacher Student Association for Douglass Middle High School, which is one of seven schools piloting the continuous learning calendar. â€œOur kids really need it especially when they come from elementary school and then middle school and they are not reading where they are supposed to be.â€
The seven schools using continuous learning calendars are Horace Mann Elementary, Moon Academy Elementary, Sequoyah Elementary, Westwood Elementary, Douglass Middle High, Rogers Middle School and Webster Middle School.
Education experts often bemoan the summer learning doldrums where students regress in academic ability.
Oklahoma City Public Schools hopes to eliminate the brain drain with a shorter summer replaced with intersession breaks.
Students who have fallen behind their peers can attend tutoring and remedial classes during the intersession breaks to catch up.
â€œThis calendar is not about adults; it's about students,â€ district spokeswoman Kathleen Kennedy said.
Superintendent Karl Springer has been a vocal advocate of longer school days and a continuous learning calendar since he took office a little more than two years ago.
Pam Calvert, council president of the district PTSA, said she sees teachers spending half the year after summer break reviewing the information that was forgotten.
â€œChanges are needed, and I think it's a step forward for Oklahoma City Public Schools,â€ Calvert said.
Parents, teachers, students and community members can sign up for public comment a half-hour before the meeting.
Only one vote is required to move the school district toward implementing the calendar for the 2011-2012 school year.
Kennedy said after the vote the district will hold community and parent meetings as well as form a task force to help create a plan for implementation.
PUBLIC CAN SHARE COMMENTS
Parents, teachers, students and community members can sign up for public comment a half-hour before the meeting begins.
IF YOU GO
The school board will consider the policy change at 5:30 p.m. Monday at the Administration Building, 900 N Klein.