CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) — A new report from Chesterfield School officials may spell the end to a calendar experiment that has students going to school year-round.
For the past several years, Bellwood elementary and falling creek elementary students have been going to school year-round as opposed to the traditional school schedule.
But after Tuesday night’s school board meeting, that may be getting ready to come to a halt.
Students at both schools still attend the normal 180 days (about 6 months) of instruction mandated by the state, but their breaks are scattered throughout the year.
Those breaks or intersessions, totaling 7 weeks (about 1 and a half months) a year, include extracurricular activities.
But now, after what the county is calling “several years of study”, school officials say it is time to call it quits.
The school recently sent a survey to parents and guardians on what they would prefer when it comes to the school schedule. The county received 213 responses from 1,323 households. That’s about a 16% response rate.
8news reached out to the county to find out if those surveys that were sent out to families also went out in Spanish.
According to information from the government website nces.ed.gov, for the 2021-2022 school year Falling Creek Elementary School enrolled almost 400 Hispanic students out of a total of 706 or 57 %. Bellwood had 243 out of a total 486, that’s 50%.
The school system says that survey about year-round school was sent to households in English and in Spanish.
8News spoke with a woman who has a young son at Bellwood. She says she likes the year-round schedule and says her son does too. She didn’t wish to go on camera, but she said it’s the only school schedule her son has ever known. She added that transitioning into a traditional school schedule makes her a little anxious, but she doesn’t think it would affect his routine or learning.
In a recently released statement Dr. Monique Booth, one of the Directors of Elementary Leadership for the county had this to say on the potential change.
“Based on the academic outcomes and the involvement in intersessions by students and staff, as well as the feedback from stakeholders… we recommend that students at Bellwood and Falling Creek Elementary Schools return to the traditional calendar”.
The school board will vote on whether to transition both elementary schools at their Feb. 7 meeting, held from 6-8 p.m., at the Chesterfield Police Department on Iron Bridge Road.