Year round school in CMS still in limbo - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Year round school in CMS still in limbo

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Project Lift administrators have revealed the results of the survey where parents, teachers, staff and the community all weighed in the year round schools model.

Administrators made the presentation at Thomasboro Academy Wednesday evening.

According to the survey that had 930 participants, while 80 percent agree year round school would minimize summer learning loss just over half actually support the idea.

Dianne Williams has two adopted children in CMS. She told WBTV year round schools are critical to their development.

"Most children when they get out of school in June, they don't do anything till August again," she said. "So they've already forgotten what they learned at the end of the school year before the beginning start."

The survey revealed other concerns: 59 percent believe parents would opt out of year round schools, 65 percent believe it would increase teacher burnout and 59 percent surveyed said it would disrupt family vacations.

Those concerns are part of the reason why Deidre Dunn is still on the fence. She's not a parent just a member of the community passionate about education.

"I'm in favor of what works," said Dunn. "So if year round schools or what they propose will work as far as it relates to closing the gap in achievement between African-American and Caucasian students, then I'm for it."

But despite the survey and weeks of community feedback, officials are not ready to recommend a year round school calendar for all nine Project Lift schools. The conversation has been going on for months.

"I'm looking for a number of 75 percent or more." Project Lift Executive Director Denise Watts said.

Watts said out of the more than 900 people surveyed only about 50% of them are for year round school, 25% are against it and 25% are undecided. Watts will now go back to the community to try and convince the 25%undecided so she can get to 75% of parents on board. Watts will reveal. results of the entire survey at a Wednesday night meeting with parents.

Educators believe year round schools could boost academic achievement and help students not forget what they have learned when they are out for the summer.

During the process parents have had plenty of concerns about the creating year round schools. Those concerns range from high school students not being able to work during the summer to not all students in the Project Lift zone need to go to school year round.

"What of those challenges," Watts said. "Can I actually mitigate and prevent from happening,"

Watts will give her recommendation to school board members January eighth.

It will cost about $5 million a year to operate year round schools in all nine Project Lift schools.

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