Year-round calendar OK'd for One Room


Published: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 2:46 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 2:46 p.m.

The Alachua County School Board last Tuesday approved a year-round calendar for the One Room School House charter school.

The charter school requested to change its calendar to spread out the school days across most of the year, with multiple weeks dedicated to tutoring.

The proposed calendar has 184 school days starting on July 15 and ending on June 8. Several weeks of classes are punctuated by weeks of tutoring days throughout the year. The summer break will last about a month.

Holidays will be the same as the school district. Day care, after-tutoring care and enrichment classes would be available on tutoring days.

Neil Drake, founder of the charter school, said students will be able to go to tutoring until noon during these weeks, and the day-care programs will be offered at low rates.

“We're going to do it cheaper than anyone can get it in town,” he told the School Board. “We're not going to turn anyone away because they can't afford it.”

With the new approach, teachers will be able to avoid compressing the curriculum, Drake said.

In documents provided to the board, officials at the charter school contend that the year-round calendar will help prevent learning loss during the summer, which will reduce remediation.

Drake said being a charter school allows administrators to effectively use the budget to make the calendar work.

“We spend a lot of money on tutoring,” he said.

In addition to the calendar change, the elementary part of the charter school received approval to increase its enrollment by about 25 students in K-5 and enrollment in voluntary pre-K by five students.

Joey Flechas is a Gainesville Sun staff writer.

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