Richmond School Board to consider longer school calendar

Education

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Richmond School Board is set to consider proposals for a new calendar as part of broader efforts to address learning losses sustained during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The School Board received three draft calendars from Superintendent Jason Kamras Monday night, outlining possible configurations of the lengthened school year.

One of the biggest learning losses identified by Kamras was in reading, where only 35% of Richmond 3rd-8th grade students meet state proficiency standards.

The proposed extended schedule is just one aspect of the school district’s “once-in-a-generation effort” to address the learning loss – an effort funded in part by federal COVID relief funds.

Options A and B are nearly identical, with the only difference being that B starts and ends a week later than A. Both include 190 days of student instruction, an increase of ten days over the existing schedule.

These two options are projected by the administration to cost $13 million a year. According to Kamras, that could be funded by federal aid for two years, after which additional funding would have to be secured.

Option C is more unusual, keeping the current number of regular instruction days, but adding 14 “intersession days” throughout the year, during which students in need of additional intervention would attend smaller, focused class sessions, while the remaining students would go on break.

At $8 million a year, this plan would potentially be sustainable for up to four years.

The school board is expected to consider the calendars with input form the community over the next two months. A decision is expected in January 2022, and the adopted plan would go into effect for the 2022-2023 school year.

Review the complete proposals below:

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