MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. — A new school year schedule at Muskegon Heights Public Schools will include the same number of school days, but have a shorter summer vacation with more off days scattered throughout the year.
“We can dig deeper into the skill level that our students need,” Donn Tignanelli of Mosaica Education says, ”and as we transition to the common core state standards – which are more rigorous – this is going to give us a little bit of an edge.”
Tignanelli has seen this system work in Chicago schools. He says less time off in the summer means teachers won’t have to spend as much time re-teaching last year’s lessons before moving on to the next grade’s curriculum.
“We’ve seen that their results academically – students are prepared earlier to be able to take on the next grade’s academic core and they’re able to advance at much greater rates,” Tignanelli says.
Instead of the regular 12-week summer break, the school will cut their break down to seven weeks.
Students will get two weeks off for Christmas, a week off for Spring Break, two days off for mid-winter break, two days off for Thanksgiving, and Memorial Day and Labor Day off.
They’ll also get seven days off in October after completing standardized testing. A handful of other days will be scattered around the rest of the year.
“In all actuality, it gives them the same number of days off,” Tignanelli says. ”It gives them the same number of school days, but again – it spreads it out a little more.”
This school year ends on June 25. The new schedule means students will be back at Muskegon Heights on August 12.