FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Timrod Elementary School is on its way to moving to a year round calendar for next school year. The woman behind all of this is Timrod Principal, Michelle McBride. The idea was brought up last September and McBride has surveyed parents, teachers and staff ever since. Out of 275 parents who were surveyed last month, a total of 81 percent are in favor of making the change.
McBride was challenged by Florence County School District 1 Superintendent, Dr. Randy Bridges, to use their resources differently. Bridges said, “So Ms. McBride has chosen time. Even though the kids will be in school for 180 days, like others that will be shaped differently, so I'm excited about the opportunity for her and her faculty and staff and her parents who have endorsed and hopefully at next month’s board meeting, the board will approve her to have the opportunity to do this next year.”
“That was my thinking outside of the box, my innovative idea for Henry Timrod Elementary School, so it gives us the chance to re-gather and regain our composure throughout the school year," said McBride.
To do that, McBride created a calendar for students to be nine weeks on and three weeks off, starting July 18 and ending June 14. Summer break will be cut in half, and traditional holidays will stay the same. Teachers and staff were surveyed first, and almost 93 percent said they want to make the change. Fifth grade teacher, Kim Hamilton, sees the benefit the consistent schedule could bring to her classroom.
“We don’t have to wait until it’s the end of the school year to go back and say oh lets go back and look at that topic we talked about in August, I know its been so long ago. Lets review so we can build on that and stop in little increments and say you didn’t catch that,” said Hamilton.
Lilli Graves has a fourth grader at Timrod Elementary. Graves’ son was at a year round school just last year before moving to Florence and is hoping Timrod will make the change from a traditional school calendar. “You know there was so much down time to when he comes back to continue the school year, he’s lethargic because he’d rather still be on break. You know he gets that little bit of time where he can jump back into it,” said Graves.
Before the next board meeting McBride will dig deeper into the resources to help make this happen. Things like transportation, food services, technology, curriculum instruction, and pay roll. "How we are going to work together to make this as seamless as possible for Timrod Elementary School," McBride said.
McBride also says the year round calendar gives parents a chance to schedule doctor appointments or take vacations at different seasons throughout the year. The final decision will be made at the next school board meeting on February 11.