More Mississippi School Districts Embracing Modified Calendars

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – State schools are making things happen. Many are returning to class in July instead of what was once always an early August start date.

“We found that we really needed to refer to it as a modified calendar rather than a year-round school,” Corinth School District Superintendent Dr. Lee Childress said in 2020.

Children still have 180 days in total but spread throughout the year on a modified schedule.

“We still have a summer. It shortens that a bit,” noted Simpson County School District Assistant Superintendent Dr. Deirdre Randall.

Since the Corinthian superintendent testified at a Senate education hearing two years ago, more districts have decided this is the right solution, including Simpson County, which has made small not to change the calendar in 2021 and lengthen the duration of intercessions this school year.

“A lot of schools were looking at it before COVID,” Dr. Randall said. “But then, with the learning loss that we had after COVID, we were all trying to find ways to get into those remedial times.”

Lamar County calls it a 9-2 model.

“So it’s two weeks on, two weeks off,” Lamar County School District Superintendent Dr. Steven Hampton described. “So the first nine weeks, we have nine, then we are off for two weeks. And then we have the second nine weeks, then we have Christmas. The third nine weeks, then we have another two weeks. Instead of having one week for spring break, we have two weeks for spring break.

Districts are using breaks not just for sanitation, but also for enrichment opportunities, and the results are already showing in Lamar County.

“Implementing the schedule last year, I think that helped tremendously,” Hampton said. “And based on our preliminary data, we’re still like, we’re on par with our students’ pre-pandemic performance levels. So we’re comparing everything to school year 18-19, which is our pre-pandemic school year. And it looks like we’ve closed that learning gap faster than expected. »

The modified schedule is something Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann is sharing his support for on social media and in speeches this summer.

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