Saturday, June 9, 2012

Year Round Schools and Shopping Spree :)

Several people have asked about the year round school schedule and how it works...  Here's my explanation:

It can be super-duper confusing, so let's start with the calendar.  Here's the multi-track year-round calendar from my district for 2011-2012:

I'm on track 1, so anywhere you see red is when I'm in school with students.  My workdays are during the track-outs (the white days - students are not in school).  As you can see, each "track" has its own color, and there are always 3 tracks in at a time.  Since we have 8 2nd grade teachers and 7 classrooms, we actually will be moving out of our classroom when we track out, and the teacher returning from their break moves into the classroom.  The building's capacity is for only 3 tracks in at a time, so year-round schools actually "hold" one-third more students than a traditional calendar school.

Here are answers to specific questions I've been asked:
Do you really teach all year long?  Nope.  I teach 10 months, but they are spread out over a school year.  I don't have 2 months off for summer, but I do have other breaks during the year.  Students come for 180 days in NC.
What happens when school is cancelled for snow?  When we have a snow day, the school is closed, even to teachers.  We go for a short session on the following Saturday to make up the day with students.
What?  School on Saturdays?  Really?  Yep.  It doesn't happen often in NC, but we all know that it's just a part of the year-round schedule.  Students are dismissed early on those days, so we are only there for about 5 hours - not a whole day.
Don't you miss your long summer break?  Not really.  If you look back at the calendar, you'll see I had a 2.5 week break in September, a 4 week break in December, 3 weeks off in March, and the month of June off, too.  Since I love to go to the beach at any point in the year, it works great for my family.
Does this eliminate the "summer slide?"  It's really pretty cool, since my kiddos don't forget as much over a 3 or 4 week break as they do over 2 months of summer.  We don't need to spend as much time reviewing the prior grade at the beginning of the year.

I know it sounds really confusing, but the truth is, I love this schedule!  It's great to have a break every quarter, and I feel like I have a lot more quality time with the kiddos in my house!!  :)  You'll hear me complain a bit about clopening and starting in July, but it has its distinct advantages, too.  Oh, and our paychecks come year-round, too!  Our annual pay is split out over 12 months, so we don't have to scrounge to pay bills over the summer - sweet!
On an unrelated note, I won a $25 Target Shopping Spree from Kenzi @ Every New Beginning!!  Happy, happy, joy, joy! {Am I the only one who remembers the old Ren & Stimpy cartoons?}
My super-cute Congrats card...
with a sweet note inside!
  Here's what I bought for my classroom - and my summer reading:
Dollar Spot - patriotic tin pail for our fair jar
Summery note cards - also from the Dollar Spot
headphone splitters for my listen-to-reading area 
sturdy clear tape, for name tags, labeling the classroom, and whatnot...
and a book for the beach!
If you haven't visited Kenzi's blog yet, please do!  She is a fifth grade teacher with great organization.  Happy Saturday!!  I'm going to get outside and enjoy this beautiful NC weather.


  1. You are in Wake County! I taught in Wake County for 2 years and now in Durham! So cool to have someone SO close to me! What school are you at?

    Tonya’s Treats for Teachers

    1. Yep! I'm at Herbert Akins in F-V. I'd love to have another NC blogger meet up... interested? :)

  2. I remember doing year round school when I was a student in school. It does sound nice having various breaks throughout the year. When you put it that way, I don't think I'd mind doing year round school either! :)

    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  3. I would LOVE to! I used to actually work with Tania from My Second Sense! Such a small world sometimes!

    Tonya’s Treats for Teachers

  4. Okay, Jen, I'm now fascinated by this whole process. Who decides which children go to school on each track and which teachers work on each track? How is that decided? So interesting!

    Peace, Love, and First Grade

    1. Families and teachers apply for the track they want. Sometimes it gets decided by the school board, and sometimes it gets decided by how much space is left at a grade level on a particular track. Short answer: it varies. :)

  5. This sounds kinda nice :)

    Nice win, too :)


    Fun in Room 4B

  6. When I was in 3rd grade my county tried the year round schedule but it didn't stick. I remember hating it as a student because sometimes I was in school when my friends were on break. I definitely think it would be helpful in eliminating achievement decline in summer months. Unfortunately, my county is WAY TOO POOR to even consider this method. [Schools are completely shut down during parts of summer just to save money on electricity.]

    Dirty Hands and Lesson Plans

  7. WOW your calendar took me back to my first two years of teaching. That is exactly what our calendar looked like. I loved my track because I had the three weeks off after Christmas break so I could go on great vacations after the holiday rush. Thanks for the post I loved going down memory lane.

    Simpson Superstars

  8. I e heard people talk about tracking In and out and had I idea what they were talking about
    We need to consider this
    Maybe it would help our class sizes
    We have a capacity for 750 but we have 900
    Lots of portables
    Love the idea
    And I loved ren and stimpy!
    I loves how he would tell "you idiot!!!"

  9. I love this idea. I have heard of year round school and always thought it sounded like such a wonderful idea, but had never seen a tracking schedule such as yours. How wonderful for the students to not have the looongggg summer slump! I am your newest follower and look forward to swappin ideas!

    The Second Grade Superkids

  10. HI! I just found your blog! I am your newest follower. I would love to have you visit my blog when you have a chance.


  11. 1. Yay!!! I am glad you got the card :) Your purchases were good ones (I just finished the Grey series). I didn't know they made headphone splitters like that.

    2. I LOVED Ren & Stimpy. My 6th grade social studies teacher would play them for us... often. Needless to say I didn't learn much world history. Later he was fired for dating a student. Creepy!!!

    3. My district wanted to move towards year around, but I don't think it will happen. We are in the same boat with needing to turn off the air in the summers.

    Every New Beginning


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