Corinth Schools Begins Sixth Year Of ‘Modified School Calendar’

CORINTH, MISS. (WCBI) – The parking lot at Corinth High School is full, students returned to school last week. The district went to what is known as a “Modified School Calendar’ six years ago. It gives students breaks throughout the year, instead of a long summer. The goal is to provide extra help for students and to reduce the “Summer Slide”, where students forget what they learned the previous school year. “By shortening the summer, children are out of school less number of days than a traditional calendar, we believe we are not having to do as much remediation and catching students up and re-acclimating them to academic issues they face as they start the school year,” said Dr. Lee Childress, who is beginning his 21st year as superintendent in Corinth. He says there have also been improvements in test scores, especially in Pre-K and Kindergarten. “It shows what we are doing is working for those students and particularly those students at an early level,” Dr. Childress said. Dr. Childress says another advantage is the extra twenty or so days it provides for students for remediation or enrichment activities. “A good example is if a Kindergarten child doesn’t know his or her alphabet, or colors, it’s better to work with a child on those at the end of the first nine weeks, rather than allowing that child to become further behind, and hope to solve or eliminate whatever deficiencies exist at the end of school during an extended year program,” he said. And Dr. Childress has some advice for districts looking at the modified calendar. “Look at it closely, look at the intent, purpose, there are about five other districts starting it this year, look at why each district is doing it, look at the impact it’s having on the learning,” Childress said. Childress encourages districts not to be afraid of change, especially as students learn differently than they did thirty or forty years ago. Columbus and Starkville are two local districts that have considered the modified school calendar.

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