Officials examine year-round model in District 196
by Jessica Harper
School districts across the nation have for years bounced around the idea of adopting a year-round school model. Now officials at the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District are once again examining the concept.
Superintendent Jane Berenz proposed at a Jan. 23 School Board retreat that officials research whether a year-round option would be worth adopting at one of the district’s elementary schools.
“I believe this will create more choices for parents. It’s all about options these days,” Berenz said.
The option would be in the form of a program for interested students and not mandated for all students at that particular school. Board Member Jackie Magnuson described the concept as “a school within a school.”
If such a model were to be adopted, students enrolled in the program would attend school all year with the exception of periodic breaks for conferences, holidays and the like, and would not have a three-month break in the summer.
No specific plan has been recommended.
District officials plan to study whether such a program would generate enough interest and be cost effective enough to move forward. Officials also plan to seek approval from parents and the teachers union before a year-round program is implemented.
Year-round school models are common across the globe and students in many of these nations have historically outperformed their U.S. counterparts. Several U.S. school districts over the years have examined the concept as they push to keep up with other developed nations.
A districtwide year-round model was explored during the 90s but was abandoned after it failed to obtain enough parental approval.
Jessica Harper is at email@example.com.