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Bartholomew Co. Schools Move To Two Week Fall Break In 2012

Starting next year, some Bartholomew County students may not be going anywhere for fall break, choosing instead to spend extra hours in school.

Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation officials recently approved a two-week fall break for the next three years, but for some students it may not be a vacation. Extra tutoring will be offered in math, language arts and science to improve test scores and offer remediation to students who’ve fallen behind.

Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Linda DeClue says survey results show two-thirds of parents are in favor of the change.

“Modification is always hard. You want to be smart about that and realize that, but the fact that we’ve put out this calendar a whole year or more before we’re really moving into it we hope lets us work through some of those challenges so that it’s not a surprise to parents,” DeClue says.

Officials say some hourly staff members, such as teacher aides, were concerned about their pay, but plans call for hours to be adjusted so the aides don’t lose any pay. Full-time teachers will proctor most of the classes and will receive an hourly stipend.

Director of Elementary Education Karen Garrity says the tutoring will help minimize curriculum loss brought on by summer vacation.

“The average student loses as much as a months’ progress by the summer loss in the summer vacation but children from homes of poverty includes on average of three months,” Garrity says. “This is pretty significant and if it starts in kindergarten by the time the child reaches the ninth grade classroom the gap widens even so much as multiple years.”

Officials say the fall break classes will be more interactive than traditional classes in hopes of enticing students to participate. The schedule change will also include two weeks for spring break and eight weeks for summer versus the traditional ten weeks.

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