School Districts Trying To Fix Summer Slide Issue

HOWELL, MI (WLNS) – Parents had all the information they needed, brochures and literature to explain the balanced calendar and lots of time to think it over.

But in Howell, it was not to be.

“We have just under two years into examining this, we did an initial parent survey last year that showed there was interest in this, but did not go near as deep as our parent survey this year did,” said Tom Gould, director of public relations, Howell Public Schools.

Just under 100 families said they would pull their student from the district should they adopt the balanced calendar that amounts to around $700,000 lost in funding to the district.

“By the recommendation by our superintendent who was against it, the reason being that the parents didn’t like the shortened summer break.”

There were more problems. The balanced calendar would only affect one elementary school and that’s an issue for parents who have children in multiple schools.

But it’s also a problem that Jackson’s plan has covered. Their program would affect the entire county.

“One of the things that we heard most often was we cannot have our family on different schedules so going county wide that would alleviate some of those concerns,” said Michael Yenshaw, Howell School Board, president.

Although Howell’s proposal is dead for now, Jackson County’s program is still in the works. It could provide Howell some background on how the balanced calendar could play out in the future.

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