District 51 Extends School Year

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

The District 51 School Board has voted to extend the 2009-2010 school year.

Two more days of school may not sound like a lot, but District 51 officials believe they will go a long way in making sure students in the Valley learn.

"We know that every day counts, every day is important for kids," said Jeff Kirtland, spokesperson for School District 51.

After discussions with staff and the Mesa Valley Education Association, two more days is what the school board decided students need -- especially as the district works to boost test scores and prepare students for higher learning, all while dealing with overcrowding and large class sizes.

"That will provide additional time to work with students that need that help," said Kirtland.

This new school calendar will push the last day of school from May 25 to May 27 starting next school year.

"Extending the school year provides more instructional time," said Kirtland. "It also provides two additional days in a teacher's contract which means more pay as well."

But where school officials take a little, they give a little back to the students. The new calendar also adds an extra day to Thanksgiving Break, giving students and teachers the day before Thanksgiving (November 25) off for the first time ever.

"It provides families with a little better opportunity to engage over that holiday," said Kirtland.

District officials call the extended year a winning situation for everyone, and say as they continue striving to provide the best education possible, more extensions in the near future might not be out the question.

"We're hopeful this is the beginning of a long term plan and desire by the board to continue to extend the school year," said Kirtland.

To view the 2009-2010 calendar in full, click on the link below:

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