Metro schools have work to do on balanced calendar - WSMV Channel 4

Metro schools have work to do on balanced calendar

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A big change is coming to Metro Nashville Public Schools next year - an earlier start date and more breaks throughout the school year. It's called a balanced calendar, but how does it actually work?

The school year does have an earlier start date, August 1. And there will only be a week at fall break, as opposed to two weeks in the original plan. But there's still a lot the school district needs to do.

Tuesday, the school board unanimously approved a balanced calendar, but there was one unknown - how will the voluntary inter-sessions for enrichment or remedial work operate?

"It is what you make it, and at this point we have no plan," board member Mark North said.

The first voluntary inter-session will be Oct. 8 through 10, followed by the fall break Oct. 11 and 12. Students will still get a two-week Winter break, then there will be a week-long inter-session March 18 through 22 followed by a week-long Spring break.

The last day of school is May 24.

Now that the dates are known, the school board will start planning the unknowns - those inter-sessions.

"Staff will begin working probably really quickly to develop what those intersessions that every one has heard about will look like. What kind of programs will be available, how will they be offered the length of time," MNPS spokeswoman Olivia Brown said.

The district also wants to line up community partners to help take part in the inter-sessions.

Many teachers supported a balanced calendar because of the extra time to intervene.

"Inter-sessions in the fall and the spring will give an opportunity for students who have fallen behind to catch up, and opportunity for enrichment. Anything we can do to serve the needs of our students we are happy to do," said Stephen Henry, president of the Metropolitan Nashville Education Association.

Communication will be key over the course of the next few months. Since inter-sessions are voluntary, the district says it's important to let parents know as much as they can so that a good number of students take part.

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