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Hopewell to start year-round school

HOPEWELL, Va. — The Hopewell School Board voted to move forward with a plan to implement year-round school in the city, becoming the first school district in Virginia to move to a year-round school calendar.

In an interview with CBS 6 earlier this year, superintendent Dr. Melody Hackney said her school system has been studying the possibility of moving to a version of the balanced calendar known as the 45/15 model since since 2017.

“[There will be] basically the nine-week grading period, marking period of instruction,” Hackney said. “But, after each nine-week marking period, students and staff would have a three-week break.”

Hackney added that the summer break would be about five weeks, as schools would be closed for a week before and after the summer break in the 45/15 model.

She said year-round school helps to combat the “summer slide,” when students forget what they learned in the school over summer break.

“For children of color and children of poverty, the greatest gains and achievements occur. The majority of our students in Hopewell are children of color and many of whom live in poverty,” added Hackney. “We’re not programming specifically to our segment of the student population, because we believe that this type of programming will benefit every child.”

The changes for Hopewell would go into effect for the 2020-2021 school year.

This school year Bellwood Elementary in Chesterfield began a year-round school calendar, becoming the first school in Chesterfield to do so.

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