Most Iowa school kids are hefting the backpacks and getting ready to begin classes, but some have been in class for weeks already. A handful of schools are now on year-round schedules, and more are looking at the idea. Principal Jan Drees says the students and teachers alike are sold on the schedule. Drees explains spreading out the school year shows results in student achievement. She says if children have more time, they learn more, and forget less over the summer. Kids get all the regular holidays, so parents and siblings can plan vacations together. Drees says there are two ways to schedule “year-round” school calendars.Some spread the days out over the year, others add more days. Iowa law sets a minimum number of schooldays per year, but no maximum. The kids in year-round schools also get other breaks throughout the year.Her students get a week in October, one in May, and one in February when families can vacation free from holiday crowds. Drees is principal at the Des Moines downtown school.
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