Pilot program explores year-round school
Abingdon Elementary will offer a year-round school option for its lowest achieving younger students this fall. The pilot program will be open to low performing first and second graders with the goal of getting them up to grade level and ready for third grade.
Gloucester Public Schools applied for and received a $40,000 planning grant to develop its proposal for a year-round program. The General Assembly provided $412,000 to provide the grants of up to $50,000 for year-round instruction plans to raise performance on SOL assessments.
A team of seven Gloucester teachers and two administrators has been working since September to develop the proposal they call “Full Circle Academy.” The optional program should reduce the summer learning loss associated with traditional school calendars and has built-in remediation opportunities.
Abingdon principal LaQuiche Parrott volunteered to host the pilot program this fall. Two of her teachers, along with two teacher assistants, will work with the 30 to 40 children who will receive the year-round instruction.
Rising first- and second-grade students eligible for the program have been selected based on their demonstrated weakness in reading and/or math as measured by classroom performance and assessments, as well as teacher recommendations.
Letters went out this week to the parents of the eligible Abingdon children. They are being invited to learn more about the Full Circle Academy during informational sessions that will be held May 6 and 8 at the school.
Children in the program will attend school on 29 non-traditional school days, which include eight days in July, 18 in August and three days in June.
Under the plan, the Full Circle children will begin school on July 21. They will have four nine-week instructional periods, for a total of 176 instructional days, separated by three-week breaks.
During the first two days of each break, there will be opportunities for students who need it to receive extra instruction. The year will end on June 12, just three days later than the regular school year.