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Adopting a new calendar for school

A decision by Constantine Public Schools to adopt a so-called balanced calendar would be made only after an exhaustive review and considerable public input.

For now, Superintendent Chuck Frisbie told a crowd of about two dozen people Wednesday, the concept is still just a proposal and remains in the discussion stage. If the measure is endorsed, it would begin no sooner than the 2015-16 academic year.

Constantine High School principal Christine Barnes provided information regarding studies that have focused on academic achievement in balanced-calendar school districts versus traditional September-to-June systems. A noteworthy component focused on what she called “summer slide,” the four to seven weeks at the onset of a new school year it takes many students to return to their knowledge level prior to summer vacation.

Frisbie said under a balanced calendar, school is in session 170 days, the same number of days under either schedule. Next year, the state is requiring 175 days and potentially 180 after that.

Barnes provided a balanced calendar showing school starting in mid-August and ending the third week of June. Two-week breaks are in place at the end of October, the end of December, and late March into early April. In addition, there would be no school the week of Thanksgiving and the calendar also shows a five-day weekend around Memorial Day.

District officials passed out a survey to audience members and the same survey is on the district’s website.