LORIS, SC (WMBF) - Daisy Elementary makes the call to switch back to a traditional school calendar after spending the last two decades on a year round schedule.
Principal Michelle Dunsford says it's not all about the students, and one of the major reasons for the call is actually so faculty can receive the proper "up to date" training with the rest of the county schools, training they've missed in the past because of their different school calendar.
"As adults, we need to continue learning as well, and be creative in how we present information to the children," Dione Buonto said. Buonto, the Chief Professional Officer of the Boys and Girls Club of the Grand Strand, explains there are pros and cons to both. "With year round schooling, the breaks are shorter, so you don't have that "brain drain" that happens with a long extended summer," Buonto said.
However, Daisy Elementary's Principal Dunsford explains they've been going over 5 years of data for the past two years. She explains they found no correlation between their schedule and test scores.
Buonto feels its all about the crucial skills children are learning, not the schedule. "In elementary school and early childhood education you are actually learning how to read. So, by the time you get to third, end of third and fourth grade, you start to read to learn, and if you don't get the concept of reading by the time you leave third grade, you're always going to constantly struggle and be behind. You will always be behind," Buonto added.
Principal Dunsford explains that this will finally give the school the opportunity to be on the same page as all of the other schools in the area. Her staff will be able to attend staff development days and other county wide training forums. Dunsford admits a handful of parents were upset about losing the extra breaks but Buonto points out the two schedules are more alike than one would think.
"If you add up the time they get off, it's equivalent to what a traditional school would be," Buonto said.
Dunsford added, if you have more than one child, they will now be on the same schedule.
"I think having a child in a year round school versus a traditional school year, yeah that would be difficult because you've got one child that would be sleeping in and another one that would get up and go to school," Buonto also said.
Starting in August of 2015, Daisy Elementary will be on their new traditional school schedule.
Buonto says the most important thing you can do as a parent is encourage your child to keep learning over the summer through reading, educational games, and summer camps or clubs.