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Benton School District is thinking about implementing a hybrid school calendar



Benton, Arkansas – Leaders in the Benton School District are considering modifying the school schedule to reduce summer vacation time.

“We’re just trying to find what our community, staff, and students are most comfortable with,” Benton Assistant Superintendent Larry Smith said.

Administrators in the Benton School District are working to determine that while gathering feedback from the professors and families in the educational system.

Smith stated that they had received input via surveys regarding the possibility of converting to a hybrid calendar.

“It breaks up the school year differently than we typically do,” Smith said.

This translates to fewer summer vacation days and lengthier, more frequent breaks during the academic year.

“We have some interest, but it’s about a 60/40 split,” Smith said. “Our staff still has a lot of questions that they’d like to see if we can get some answers to before we would jump into doing that.”

Smith claimed that the hybrid schedule might offer several advantages, including a decrease in teacher and student fatigue.

“Looking at student achievement stuff, when schools go from a traditional to a hybrid [schedule]… before and after test results is usually positive,” Smith said. “It does have a positive impact on that.”

Smith claims that the change might affect sports schedules.

“If you’re out a week in October, seasons are going on,” Smith said. “How does that affect contracts? Or does it affect contracts? What happens with it?”

While they’re thinking about adding a few minutes to each day to help with the fact that they no longer have AMI days, Smith indicated that school days might look a bit different come fall.

“It allows us to build in some three or four days that we can use as snow days and not have to extend that calendar into June,” Smith said.

Smith anticipates that the decision will be made by the board in the spring. Before making a decision, he added, they will keep gathering input on the hybrid schedule throughout the spring and fall of the following year.

Additionally, the Bryant School District is debating whether to go to an extended year calendar.


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