Some DC schools may shorten summer break by extending academic year

- Students from ten D.C. Public Schools will be going to class longer beginning with the next academic year.

The District’s Mayor Muriel Bowser and Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced their plan Wednesday to extend the school year into the summer at several schools. 

They say research suggests that time away from school during the summer contributes to the achievement gap.

"A pathway to the middle class starts with a great education," said Mayor Bowser. "Our public schools have made significant gains in recent years, and I am committed to building on those gains - so that we can close the achievement gap and give all of our students a chance for success.  By extending the school year in these ten schools, we will offer students the equivalent of an extra year of learning by the time they reach the 8th grade."

The extended school year will also allow students more time to improve in areas where they struggle. It will include an additional month of instruction, taking the academic school year from 180 to 200 days. 

"Students, especially our students in struggling schools, deserve the opportunity both to excel in core subjects like reading and math and to explore a wide range of interests including art, music, PE, advanced courses, library, and foreign language," said Kaya Henderson, Chancellor of DC Public Schools.

Under the new schedule, there will be an additional two weeks of instruction provided for students who need extra support, and breaks in October and June to accompany normal winter and spring breaks. 

The ten new elementary and middle schools with extended year planned for the 2016/2017 school year:

  •     Garfield Elementary School (Ward 8)
  •     H.D. Cooke Elementary School (Ward 1)
  •     Hart Middle School (Ward 8)
  •     Hendley Elementary School (Ward 8)
  •     Johnson Middle School (Ward 8)
  •     Kelly Miller Middle School (Ward 7)
  •     King Elementary School (Ward 8)
  •     Randle Highlands Elementary School (Ward 7)
  •     Thomas Elementary School (Ward 7)
  •     Turner Elementary School (Ward 8)

DCPS selected the ten schools based on a mix of criteria, including: strong leadership in each school, active interest by the community (including students and parents), and student bodies that demonstrate room for growth. 

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