School going year-round, adding 40 days to school year

6:38 PM, Dec 2, 2011   |    comments
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The school is going to send students to school year-round by adding 40 more days of school.

"We believe that we need more time with students," Manual High Principal Brian Dale said.

Dale says the 40 more school days are being taken out of summer vacation.

"The summer loss that students experience justifies a longer school year," Dale said.

"I'm kind of bummed that we're not going to have a long summer vacation," Devante Swain, a freshman at Manual, said.

The school day will also get longer by an hour.

"I'm learning something longer and it's better for us 'cause I can remember it," Devante said.

"All teachers will be compensated for their extra time," Dale said.

"[It's a] 25 percent pay increase to work the entire year versus three quarters of the year," Greg Murray, a ninth grade English teacher, said.

When school starts in July, each room will have an industrial cooling unit.

"That was a pretty big deal. It was very warm here last summer," Dale said.

The extra 40 days will not all be spent sitting at a desk. The school plans more trips to enhance the experience. For example, if they are learning about the Statue of Liberty, they might just go to New York.

"The idea is that students will learn a concept and then live it for a week," Dale said.

These are endeavors that will rely heavily on fundraising.

"You've got to find people who believe in what you're doing," Murray said. "If you're talking about trying something, it's even that more exciting to say, 'Can we make this work?' I believe in it."

It is a bold change, but not necessarily unique.

"[In] China they do that and they have school on Saturday," Devante said.

Manual is an official innovation school, which allows it to work outside of district and union guidelines.

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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