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Chesterfield leaders delay vote for year-round school at Bellwood Elementary

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Chesterfield County school leaders voted Tuesday evening to delay a vote that could send some elementary students to school year-round for next school year.

The Chesterfield County School Board is considering a year-round calendar at Bellwood Elementary as a pilot program for the 2018-19 school year.

Under the pilot program, children who attend Bellwood would go to school for nine weeks at a time. The would then have three-week breaks in between sessions, instead of a longer summer break.

The program received overwhelming support in a January parent survey, something that those who oppose the plan say was misleading.

“Parents all thought the survey was an educational study as it was labeled,” said one parent. “It’s true we have poverty in our area which doesn’t mean we should be less informed uninvolved or our voices not heard.”

Some Bellwood teachers took a stand for the year-round plan. They said the plan will help with everything from summer learning loss to access to healthy meals.

“Those who are asking the question why now why not now the traditional calendar creates burn and then atrophy,” said one Bellwood teacher.

Parents will have another opportunity to get their questions answered at a meeting March 23, at which time the board could vote on the plan.

If implemented, the year-round plan would take effect beginning July 2018.