Summer vacation is over for a couple of thousand CMS students. Kids at four K-8 schools on Charlotte’s west side headed back to school this week. Bruns Academy, Walter G Byers, Thomasboro, and Druid Hills are the first CMS schools to move to a year-round calendar. They’re among nine struggling schools in the Project LIFT Zone.
Druid Hills principal Alison Hiltz says a long summer vacation makes it difficult to catch up students who are behind.
“Time after time we worked really hard to get their reading up. We would make up over a year’s worth of group and we would applaud for rolling that boulder up the hill,” says Hiltz. “When we stopped to applaud, summer would come and we’d see that summer slide.”
She says year-round school will mean kids won’t have time to forget what they learned and teachers can move on to new material right away.
Druid Hills and Thomasboro students will be in school an extra 19 days this year. Project Bruns and Walter G. Byers will have the same number of school days.
The four schools have about a month of summer vacation and two-to-three week breaks in April and October. During those breaks, the schools will offer science and arts classes to any interested students.
Project LIFT will pay an additional $2.5 million to cover the cost of those classes and the extra days of school.