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ERIC Number: ED517178
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 14
Abstractor: ERIC
"Focus" on the Alternative School Calendar: Year-Round School Programs and Update on the Four-Day School Week. Challenge to Lead
Dixon, Asenith
Southern Regional Education Board (SREB)
In recent years, lean economic conditions have led to state and local agency budget cuts, including reductions to elementary and secondary education. To compensate for less state funding and decreasing local revenues, many state legislatures have passed policy and funding bills that give school systems more latitude in making finance and program decisions. A key area where more flexibility is apparent is the scheduling of school calendars. One of the first responses to the downturn in the economy was to explore the four-day school week as a money-saving measure. Statutes in nearly half of the 16 SREB (Southern Regional Education Board) states now permit local school districts to adopt calendars where students attend school for longer but fewer days. With renewed focus at the state and federal level on reforming education and increasing student learning, state policy-makers also are looking for more creative ways to arrange the instructional school year. The concept of altering the traditional school calendar is not new, but few schools and districts across the country have embraced the idea. Those that have chosen alternative calendars typically have similar reasons, including raising student achievement, reducing the achievement gap among groups of students, saving money, and decreasing school overcrowding. In the SREB region, most schools and districts that operate on an alternative calendar use either a year-round school program or a four-day school week, although year-round schedules are more prevalent. Year-round school calendars reorganize minimum instructional time requirements across the school year; reduce the time students spend on summer vacation; and provide multiple opportunities for tutoring, remediation and enrichment throughout the school year. This "Focus" report provides an overview of year-round programs and examines the advantages and challenges that are inherent to most, if not all, of these programs. It also provides an update on actions relating to the four-day school week. Although only a small percentage of schools in the SREB region have year-round programs in operation, it is important for education leaders and legislators to explore whether this type of calendar contributes to stronger academic achievement results for students. (Contains 5 tables.)
Southern Regional Education Board. 592 10th Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30318-5790. Tel: 404-875-9211; Fax: 404-872-1477; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Southern Regional Education Board