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MASA Leader - Spring 2015

MASA Feature TBalanced School Year Shows Early Gains for Madison Elementary School he first day of the 2014-15 school year at Madison Elementary began like any other—filled with fresh haircuts, new pencils, smiles, and butterflies of excitement. What was different was that school opened on July 28. More than one-third of the school’s 800 Young 5s through fifth-grade students were starting the year on a new balanced school year (BSY) calendar. The rest of the student body would join them on the traditional school year (TSY) calendar on September 2. This is not the first cutting-edge education opportunity offered by the district. Committed to expanding educational opportunities for students, Madison also recently implemented programming around strings/orchestra, Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Biomedical Technology, career exploration, and youth athletics. In fact, research for a different learning opportunity actually led to the BSY option. “A group of staff members from Madison visited Croswell- Lexington Community Schools to learn about their 1:1 technology initiative. At one point during the conversation, the district’s superintendent at that time, Dr. Kevin Miller, mentioned year-round schooling. This caught my attention, and we spent the rest of the morning discussing a balanced calendar while the remainder of the group toured campus,” said Madison School District Superintendent Ryan Rowe. Upon returning to Madison, discussions about the BSY concept began, and excitement began to build. Administrators and staff met to form exploratory committees to research and develop a 18 MASA LEADER • Spring 2015 Madison Elementary School Balanced School Year (BSY) Calendar 7 8 2014-15 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 31 29 30 31 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 BSY option for Madison Elementary. Two aspects quickly surfaced as priorities: the choice to teach or enroll in BSY would be voluntary, and the number of days (180), curriculum, specials, and supports would be equal to those of the TSY. A calendar was developed, based on a six-week summer vacation. The remainder of the 20 vacation days were then spread out over the rest of the year. “The driving force behind a BSY calendar is to reduce the learning loss that can occur over an extended summer break. Although the focus of the program is student achievement, our staff and families also report that having the opportunity to travel in off-peak times is also appreciated,” said Rowe. By Rebecca Schwan July 2014 S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 28 29 30 November 2014 S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 6 March 2015 S M T W T F S August 2014 S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 6 December 2014 S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 30 31 April 2015 S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 29 20 21 22 22 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 September 2014 S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 January 2015 S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 29 May 2015 S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 6 October 2014 S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 February 2015 S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 1 2 3 4 5 8 9 6 7 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 June 2015 S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 Professional Development Holiday No School Intercession No School BSY In Session Continued on page 20


MASA Leader - Spring 2015
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