OKC School Using Continuous Calendar Says It Helps Students, Teachers

Tuesday, December 14th 2010, 6:24 pm
By: News 9

Adrianna Iwasinski, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma City Public Schools Board unanimously approved a new continuous learning calendar Monday night, but seven schools in the district have been using it for years.

Horace Mann Elementary School is one of those schools. The school has followed the nine-week schedule for the last 16 years. The continuous calendar includes three weeks off for winter break, two weeks off for spring and fall break, and eight weeks off for summer. It's the schedule all Oklahoma City schools will be following next year.

Students and parents at Horace Mann have said they enjoy the longer breaks. Teachers said the continuous education plan has several advantages.

"It is much easer to get them back up to speed and continue on where you need to take them," teacher Mitchell Ruzzoli said.

"I used to spend weeks at a time talking about procedures," said Special Education teacher Leslie Littlejohn. "And now I get to spend one day on that and go right into teaching immediately."

Horace Mann principal Dr. Judy Jones said test scores have gone up at the school because of the continuous schedule.

West Nichols Hills Elementary Principal John Addison said he's excited about the upcoming change to a continuous learning calendar.

"There's so many pluses to being on a continuous learning calendar," said Principal Addison. "I think the majority of kids we get back during the summer are ready to get back. And I think there's not going to be too much disagreement coming back August 1 as opposed to August 21."

Angela Sheehy, a second grade teacher at West Nichols Hills Elementary said she would have been disappointed if the school board had not voted for the continuous learning calendar. She said their goal is to create lifelong learners and said this schedule will only help that endeavor.

"I think by cutting down that long summer break it will keep them more excited about learning," said Sheehy.

In all 69 Oklahoma City public schools will be making the big switch starting next year.