Lowndes County School District adopts modified school calender

LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – For some students, it always feels like Summer vacation gets shorter every year. This year that will be a reality for children in one district.

In Lowndes County, the 2023-2024 school year will get off to an early start.

The Lowndes County School district has voted to implement a nine-to-two school calendar which is nine weeks of instruction and two weeks of intersession.

Lowndes County School Superintendent Sam Allison said administrators have been looking at other districts that have adopted the modified calendar, and the effects those changes have had on student performance. And he believes his schools are ready.

“Change is hard for some, but for you know, if we’d have felt a majority didn’t want change, you know, we want to move forward with it,” Superintendent Allison said.

Starting in July, students will attend classes for nine weeks and for two weeks have either intervention/remediation if needed or enrichment for students.

The new calendar raises some concerns for parents, and Allison said the district is working to address those.

“But as far as our daycares, they’ve assured us they’re going to do the same thing as they have done summer. So I think that was one of the things I hear a lot is childcare was something that people brought to us,” Superintendent Allison said.

The district is currently working on ideas and plans for the two-week intersession periods.

Allison said it’s not a one-size-fits-all pattern. Activities and staffing will look different from school to school.

“It’s a small percentage that will serve during that time (intersession), but once we get the numbers, we’ll, staff it based on the numbers of people that come back and, I’ll leave that mainly up to our principals to how they want to you know, every building will be different,” Superintendent said.

According to a district-wide survey, 85% of teachers are in favor of the new calendar.

English teacher Rachel Robertson is one who believes that intersession/remediation could increase academic success

“…and a lot of one on one help is needed and, especially if you are behind, that assistance can get a student caught up so that when they come back, they are exactly where they need to be,” Robertson said.

And as a parent, Robertson also sees the potential for more quality family time.

“I have six children and we have a lot of activities. So we have to plan around which to me is also a benefit of those extra weeks during the school year. We can take some time as a family in a few days that we wouldn’t normally do in the summer because of all of their extracurricular activities,” Robertson said.

Classes will start the last week of July and run through the end of May.

Click here to view the upcoming academic calendar.

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