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Superintendent says ‘disadvantaged, black’ students benefit from year-round school

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PETERSBURG, Va. (WTVR) - Can year-round school help students improve test scores? Petersburg Superintendent Dr. Joseph Melvin thinks so.

Two Petersburg schools are slated for a year-long educational program. Dr. Melvin said year-round school will help AP Hill Elementary and Peabody Middle meet academic standards.

“I'm looking at research instead of opinions," Dr. Melvin said.

While studies have shown year-long school can improve attendance and be cost effective, critics said going to school year round does not improve test scores.

In fact when CBS 6 reporter Sandra Jones looked at the numbers, she found no difference in year round and the traditional calendar schools when it came to SOL scores.

But Dr. Melvin said the numbers don't paint the full picture.

“When you significantly look at disadvantaged students, African-American students and blacks that they show increases in SOL test scores," Dr. Melvin explained.

Parent Tyquisha Chavis, whose daughter attends AP Hill Elementary, still has reservations.

"I really don't agree with it," Chavis said. "If people would've worked a little harder during the year, we wouldn't have to be going through this now."

The single mother is working to move up from a Certified Nursing Assistant to a Registered Nurse.  She said plans to change her daughter's school routine will make reaching her goal even more challenging.

"I drop her off at school everyday.  So, having gas, having to leave work or be late for work to have to get her to school all year round," Chavis said. "The change is going to be - it's going to be different.”

The change for the Petersburg schools takes effect for fiscal school year 2014-2015.

Teachers have been going through instructional training and development to prepare them for the change, Dr. Melvin said. He is now working with state lawmakers to get the needed funds to keep the program going.


  • gregory

    so if this doesn’t work they gonna go at night also?Its the horse to water,the some people you just can’t reach kinda thing.Next we will here how they are suspended more because they are there more.How about you change your ways and learn in the amount of time given?wow

  • Prince

    The progressive quarter system is used in the best school systems in the nation but when a local district decides to do, they are challenged and reviled. IF what you are doing now doesn’t work, try something new. Let the media and other idiots crow.

  • Everybody's a genius

    There just now attempting this? WSFC,school district tried this about ten years ago in predominantly minority schools ,it didn’t make much a difference. If they go year around,the schedulewould be nine weeks on, three weeks off. Same amount of time as traditional schools. The real problem is funding,teachers who honestly want to teach at these schools,parent involvement,and the communities. Besides schools need to be stricter with consequences for not following rules,etc The schools need to stop shuffling children with special needs through school,because the school is focused on test scores and not truly focused on teaching them. This is a country wide problem,not just local,state or even a southern states issue.

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