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Staving off the 'summer slide' through year-round learning at One City Schools

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Staving off the "summer slide" through year-round learning at One City Schools

For some students in southern Wisconsin, the learning doesn't stop.

MADISON (WKOW) -- Some education experts and parents fear the "summer slide" may be more troublesome due to the lasting impacts the pandemic has had on learning.

For students at One City Schools, the learning doesn't stop.

Students at One City Schools eagerly don pajamas for spirit week in July because for them, it's a regular day of class.

Kaleem Caire, founder and CEO of One City Schools said, "We really asked our parents what type of school do you want and having something for their children to do during the summer was important."

Even the students seem to enjoy going to school in the summer.

Caydence, a 3rd grader said, "My favorite thing is about school is like that, like we stay all year to get like smart."

Brandyn, a 2nd grader said, "My favorite subject is recess. Why? Because I get to play basketball, and play with my friends."

One City Schools adopted a year-round learning model when it launched in 2014.

"We want to make sure that we were able to stave off any losses that our kids might experience," said Caire.

Rich Halverson, a UW Education expert said, "You do lose some math facts and some basic literacy skills if you don't practice them and so all year round schooling does prevent sort of that low-level loss of content."

The extra time in the classroom seems to be paying off. One city school's kindergarten through second-grade students scored higher in their learning benchmarks than the national average during the pandemic.

While many year-round programs like one city schools produce higher scores experts still have a mixed reaction.

"Year-round schools do have a lot of pros and cons," said Halverson.

Year-round learning is beneficial for kids, but the schedule could be tough on teachers.

"Educators look forward to a summer break where they're either continue to teach or do another job. I'm guessing that a lot of the resistance comes from an interruption to the normal practice," said Halverson.

With two extra months of summer learning, One City Schools hopes to transform its young scholars.

"We want them to identify themselves as great students with great possibilities," said Caire.

Year-round learning has been so successful at One City Schools, that they're planning to add grades six nine, and ten.

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