Short summer: Flint schools back in 3 weeks with new balanced calendar

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FLINT (WJRT) (7/15/2019) - There is a big change this year to the Flint Community Schools' calendar.

The first day of school is Wednesday, August 7th.

The whole district has moved to a balanced calendar.

Superintendent Derrick Lopez is eager to see the improvements he said it'll bring for students.

"The balanced calendar's design is really to chunk our lessons in edible chunks for kids," he said. "So that they can actually have a unit, have an assessment done, figure out if they mastered it; and if they didn't master it, in the intersession, actually come back for mediation. So, at the end of the year, our kids are not trying to catch up."

Lopez explained each year they have a number of kids held back.

So, he's hoping the new system helps all students move forward.

He explained they'll attend class for about 45 days straight before taking a week off. That intersession period will allow the students who are behind to catch up.

Lopez said they made the shift to align with the state's push to become a "Top-10" education state in ten years.

He's looking forward to the positive improvement a shorter summer is going to make for student's who fall into the summer slump.

"Which is a huge thing for kids of color and poor kids. Because, they don't retain as much information because their enrichment activities in the summer are not as as rich as kids of parents who have means. So, chunking it in a way that will allow them to re-mediate and therefore have a shorter summer will help them in retaining the knowledge that they need to be successful," Lopez said.

Over the next three weeks, he's encouraging parents to have their kids pick up a book to help them be prepared for the big day on August 7th.

For a look at the new balanced calendar, click on the 'Related Links' section of this story.

Stay tuned for more updated later this week on the changes coming to the District -- including will their be air conditioning at the schools? What's the plan for 7th and 8th graders? What ever happened to the donation from Elon Musk?

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