Schools considering year-round “balanced” calendar

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Several Lansing area schools are considering a balanced schedule for their school year for the future of education.

The last bell before summer break is a celebration for students looking forward to summer vacation. A switch to a balanced calendar for more efficient education, would change that.

“So that you don’t have to go back in September and teach people for six to eight weeks to get them back to where they were,” Charlotte Board of Education President Mike Bruce said.

The balanced calendar trades the traditional long summer break in exchange for lengthier Spring and Fall breaks. This eliminates the period where students tend to forget information from the prior school year, a change parents have differing opinions on.

“My youngest Grandson is autistic, so that summer break for him kind of set him back,” Grandparent of Charlotte Elementary School students Deb Heacock said.

“If I had to vote on in, if it was something that would come to a vote, I would vote no,” Father of Olivet District Students Terry Davis said.

Terry Davis says he uses summer break to spend time with family.

“I know my kids enjoy having the summer off and its usually when everyone plans their vacations,” Davis said.

The switch won’t come fast or cheap.

“There’s going to need to be funding to purchase air conditioning,” Spokesperson for Michigan Education Association David Crim said.

The cost of keeping schools cool in the Summer months, along with students missing out on Summer jobs, and parents paying extra for child care, are all expenses being taken into account. The switch depends on an all or nothing consensus by Eaton County District Schools.

“Collectively we need to do it with every school district in the county,” Bruce said.

David Crim says the new calendar is the next step forward for all schools.

“The trend is going into that direction,” Crim said.

The next meeting for Eaton County Schools is June 21  and no matter which way the decision goes, it will be a slow transition for the change.

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