School back in session for some students - WNEM TV 5

School back in session for some students

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While many consider the start of the new school year as kicking off after Labor Day, more and more districts are getting a jump-start, or turning to a year-round or balanced calendar.

Davison Community Schools is one such district that opened its doors to students on Aug. 22.

The Davison Board of Education approved the change from a traditional school calendar, to a balanced one on June 13, 2015.

On Monday the district put nearly three years of studying and planning into practice.

“After scrutinizing data, holding more than two dozen presentations and seeking input from parents, students and stakeholders, I firmly believe moving to a district wide balanced calendar school year is absolutely in the best interest of our students,” said Superintendent Eric Lieske. “The data clearly shows that a balanced calendar helps reduce summer learning loss and our surveys of parents and staff have been consistent in that 70 percent or more are in favor of implementing such a calendar. If our mission and philosophy truly is to put kids first, then this is a perfect example of how to do that.”

Students in the district will still attend for 180 days, but breaks are broken up differently.

Summer break is eight weeks, and there will be three one week breaks throughout the year.

"We are going to try and diminish that summer learning loss. Research says that happens after a long tradition school year summer break. We are also looking at how can we impact the attitudes of school," Lieske said.

Monica Martin, teacher, said she notices long breaks can cause her students to forget what they've learned and hopes the shorter summer will change that.

"I'm hoping that loss is reduced, which is going to cut down the time of review and repeat so we can just get right into the content," Martin said.

Lieske said they'll do their homework to make sure the balanced school year is what's right for their students.

"Perception data and attendance and bottom line, how does student achievement get impacted," he said.

Davison is not the only district in Mid-Michigan to be on the balanced calendar.

Beecher school district and one elementary school and one middle school program in the Lapeer Community School district have also made the switch.

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