Edgefield County schools to keep year-round calendar
EDGEFIELD, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - School leaders in Edgefield County decided to keep the year-round school calendar, with the next school year starting July 15.
This will be the second year the district had a modified calendar, a trend Aiken County schools will follow next year.
We met with leaders in the school district to learn how this year is going and why they think it’s worth keeping.
In Edgefield County, school started a little earlier this year. A big reason for starting this modified calendar: more opportunities to catch students up.
“Our hope is that we’re able to intervene with kids that are falling behind a lot sooner than we could in the past,” said Superintendent Dr. Kevin O’Gorman.
The first week of intervention was in September, and he says that plan seemed to work.
“We had almost 13 percent of our students come back for our first intercession week, so definitely saw a lot more students during that fall intercession recovery period than we normally do in summer school,” he said.
He says there are more opportunities for growth beyond just academics.
“We want to grow our gifted and talented program in fine arts. We want to get agriculture involved, NJROTC, offer some camp-like settings, not necessarily just academics,” said O’Gorman.
After seeing the benefits of this calendar, they considered it for next year to see if the community wanted to try again.
“We did a survey right after that first break. We had 21 percent say they didn’t like it, and there was about 75 percent that said they were definitely in favor of it,” he said.
If the district continues to do it again after next year, that will be up to the community’s and staff’s response. But no matter the dates, one thing will stay the same.
“Kids are in school for 180 days, no matter which calendar we are on. We’re not adding more days; it’s just when the kids are in school,” he said.
The school year builds in another optional week of academic intervention at the beginning of spring break for any kids that need it.
O’Gorman says they won’t know if that will help with COVID learning loss until after testing in December, but they have high hopes to see some growth in their students.
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