More schools moving to year-round classes to avoid summer learning loss

CLEVELAND - It may be the end of July, but some city kids are already back in school. It is a move toward year-round school that advocates say can help do away with summer learning loss.

Students at MC2Stem High School go to school for 10 weeks then have three weeks off. This school is one of about 3,700 schools across the country on a year-round schedule.

Ninth grader Sarina loves the schedule. “That’s kinda cool to me because I like being at school so it’s not like I need a long break,” she said.

Some teachers from traditional schools also like the idea, telling NewsChannel 5 that they often spend September and October covering what students should know but tend to forget if they’re not practicing over the summer.

But others say there isn’t strong evidence that year-round school reduces the summer learning loss or is better overall. That includes Cleveland State University Education professor Karl Wheatley. He thinks innovative instruction makes the difference in learning, not a calendar.

Wheatley says, “The way in which you teach kids influences how much they forget. We need to really change the model of education. We have a model of education that not only leads to rapid forgetting but it also turns kids off to school."

Meanwhile, Cleveland Schools CEO Eric Gordon says research does show that three weeks is about as long as students can be away from learning before they start showing learning loss; so, going to school year-long with short breaks could benefit many students.

As for the year-round program at Cleveland's Stem High School, in 2013 every graduating senior was accepted to college. 

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