Students at six Calgary Catholic schools started back to school Wednesday. That may seem a little early to most parents, but these students are enrolled in year-round education.
Catholic school system officials say that with year-round education the school year calendar is formatted to more closely match the continuous learning patterns of children.
The school year is balanced into four equal terms with students getting a shortened summer vacation and going back to school in August, a two-week holiday in October and an extra week of holidays at both Christmas and Easter.
Students following the year-round education calendar receive the same education as those on the traditional track. Alberta Education mandates that all students must receive the same curriculum and equal instructional time.
Four of the six schools are dual track, offering both year-round and a traditional calendar.
A 2007 study by Ohio State sociologist Paul von Hippel found that year-round learning did not produce academic benefits for students. Some advocates of the system argued that being in school all year long would reduce the “loss of learning” supposedly associated with a three month summer vacation.
But “year-round schools don’t really solve the problem of the summer learning setback – they simply spread it out across the year,” von Hippel told Science Daily in an interview.
The Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD) is the largest Catholic school district in Alberta, serving over 45,000 students in 106 schools located in Calgary, Airdrie, Cochrane, Chestermere and the Municipal District of Rocky View.
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