A Kanawha County School says year-round schedule works for them - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

A Kanawha County School says year-round schedule works for them

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Students like Gage Bailey don't go to school in the traditional way.

"I like year round school because you get more breaks than just one big long break," said Bailey.

His mom, Jennifer, brings him to school at Piedmont Elementary for 9-weeks in a row, then, he gets a 3-week break.

He likes it and so does his mom.

"He retains it so much better when we only have three weeks breaks," said Jennifer Harrison.

The subject of year-round school  is coming up more. It's something Kanawha County School Board members have supported. Not everyone is fan. Critics say they like having one BIG break for students and say it can be harder to keep children of different ages on the same schedule.

We spoke to a teacher here at Piedmont Elementary School who said she was apprehensive about the idea of year-round school, until she tried it.

"I think we have a lot of teachers that schedule doctors appointments on 3-week breaks and don't miss as much school," said Kim Landers.

Kim Landers teaches 5th grade, she remembers when Piedmont tried out year-round school. The first year, half the students were year-round, the other, traditional.

"When we got our test scores back that first year we were shocked at how much higher the kids on year-round calendar scored," said Landers.

The school's principal said they can't compare their current academic success to before, because student testing has changed.

Kanawha County School Superintendent Ron Duerring said it's hard to determine how much year-round school has contributed to the school's success.

Jennifer Harrison said it works for her family. She is nervous for next year when her son, Gage,  will go to middle school and leave the year round calendar behind.

Two schools in Kanawha County are currently year-round Mary Snow and Piedmont elementary. Piedmont Elementary has been successful over the past couple of years. Their attendance rate this past quarter was 98-point-6, the fourth highest among 39 elementary schools. In testing, the students have gone up recently. In math, a report shows their students improved 21% over two years. Kanawha County Schools improved 6%. In reading, Piedmont students gained 18% compared to Kanawha County Schools, that saw an 8% increase.