Schools Switch To Modified Calendar

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After much penciling-in and erasing, the Payson School District's modified calendar for the 2001-2002 school year has finally been carved in stone. It's set to begin Aug. 6, the first day of the next school year.

The finalized calendar follows the "9-2, 9-2, 9-2" formula originally recommended by members of the Superintendent's Advisory Council, wherein nine-week periods of school are followed by two-week

breaks.

In previous meetings, the school board expressed a preference for a "9-1, 9-2, 9-2" formula, which would have provided for nine weeks of school and a one-week break, followed by two sessions marked by nine weeks of school with two-week breaks.

"This provides us with the opportunity for potential improvement for student achievement due to ... a more refreshed learning environment," Payson School Superintendent Herb Weissenfels said.

"From everything that we've read, and everything we've heard from other districts, they have had very good experiences with this type of calendar," school board member Kristi Ford said. "And besides, nothing ventured, nothing gained. You don't know if something's going to work until you try it."

Researched and recommended to the school board by the Superintendent's Advisory Council, the new calendar shortens the summer recess by about two weeks and adjusts some holiday breaks so divides the school year into nine-week quarters, with each school session followed by a recess.

Based on the new calendar, students will take a fall break from Oct. 8 through Oct. 19; a winter break from Dec. 24 through Jan. 4 and a spring break from March 18 through March 30, 2002.

Students will still attend the same number of school days they did under the traditional calendar, and one school day will be added to the calendar for each of the next five years as mandated by Proposition 301, the education funding measure approved by the voters in the November general election.

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