RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond school leaders decided Monday night not to move forward with Superintendent Jason Kamras’ recommendation for year-round school for the upcoming year. Instead, the school board wants more time to collect data and get the public’s input. The board did say, however, it will make a commitment to have a year-round option for the following school year, 2022-2023.
The decision came about five hours into the virtual meeting and two-and-a-half hours after public comment on the topic.
Although the idea is being referred to as “year-round school,” it technically isn’t. But the idea does add about seven weeks to the school calendar for students who may need that extra learning time the most.
The district says about 5,000 students fall in that category.
Those extra seven weeks are completely optional, so no student or teacher has to agree to the extra classroom time. But teachers who do agree to it would get some $10,000 added on to their paychecks.
There still would be a summer break, but it would just be five weeks for those who sign up for the program instead of eight weeks for students who don’t sign up for year-round school.
RPS’s student representative addressed the board on the topic.
“Since numerous students are looking for resources, I think this proposal will help those students who are in need of educational support. A lot more hands-on learning will be involved, including the increased opportunity for extra help and study...However, it is not a choice I can stand by. We, as a district, have experienced enough change in the past year. To add another drastic change could add to an already growing uncertainty about our future. I say enough change for the time being,” Armstrong High student Airhiez Cabrera said.
The upcoming school year will begin with a traditional calendar on Sept. 7, 2021.
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