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Select Grand Island schools start year round program
America has lost its lead in educating our kids. While it's being debated on Capitol Hill, over Grand Island, their system is doing something about it.
Back in March the Grand Island school board approved a continuous school schedule for four elementary schools in the GI Public school district.
Tuesday, students started their first day.
News 5's Dara Newson joined students and staff on their first day back to school but this year will obviously be a little different.
While some students are still basking in their summer fun, these kids are counting numbers.
"I'm really excited about the new schedule. I think in the coming years it will allow the students to retain more of their reading skills as well as their math skills," said Kindergarten Teacher Alison Zitterkopf.
It's Alison Zitterkopf's first year as a kindergarten teacher. She says the continuous schedule will not only impact student learning, but lighten her teaching load.
"I think it'll allow for us to have better plan, the curriculum and align it and then also, as well as continue on with what the students have already learned," Zitterkopf said.
Since the end of the 2012 school year, students have been out of school for only six weeks. But for 32 year veteran Sharon Urwiller, that's almost too much.
"I think we spend a lot more time catching up, right now we're doing a very quick review unit on multiplication and division facts. It might just be a few days where before it might have been a week or more," said Urwiller.
Howard Elementary was sort of the pilot school. They were on the continuous school program last year. This year the Grand Island Public Schools added Jefferson, West Lawn, and Starr. The principal here says he has high hopes for the new schedule
"The break has been short so the kids are coming back. They haven't regressed as far as they have in past summers. They're back where they're at and we'll be able to get off to a quick start and get our guided reading started, get right back into the curriculum," said Starr Principal John Hauser.
At the end of each nine week period there will be a two week intercession for students who need the extra help.
After the two week intercession, the boys and girls will have a week off and then back to regular programming.
"I think we're going to find that they haven't lost as much, like of their multiplication facts, reading ability over the summer," Urwiller said.
Students will still have the traditional holidays off and the school year will end on May 23rd.
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