Winlock students will keep the standard 11-week vacation this summer, but the Winlock School District will move to a new modified calendar once the 2022-2023 school year starts Aug. 30 in an attempt to reduce summer learning loss and provide more educational opportunities for students throughout the school year.
The modified calendar shortens summer break to eight weeks but adds three “intersession” week-long breaks during the school year: one in October, one in February and one in April.
“This reduction of time away from school (for summer break) reduces the summer learning loss for our students. This means that students are more prepared for learning when they return into school in the fall,” Superintendent Garry Cameron said in a video message to Winlock families on July 8.
During the intersession breaks, students can take part in optional learning activities with their teachers such as hands-on experiments, field trips, academic intervention and homework help.
Those intersession opportunities are partially funded through the district’s 21st Century After School program grant and partially with general fund dollars allocated from the state, according to the district.
“The district has made the decision to recommend the modified calendar because we believe it is best for our kids, as it will provide them more opportunities for learning and activities throughout the school year,” Cameron said.
The Winlock School Board voted Monday to adopt the modified calendar for the next three school years: 2022-2023, 2023-2024 and 2024-2025.
“Three years allows the district to gather data to determine if the modified calendar works better for our students, and a three-year adoption gives families the opportunity to schedule events in advancement,” stated the district on its website.
The school board usually votes to adopt the calendar in May, but the school board voted twice to delay the calendar adoption date while district staff considered the modified calendar.
“I’d like to thank you for your patience as we worked through a really complex process with our staff to agree on a different calendar than has previously been adopted,” Cameron said in the July 8 video message to families.
More information on the modified calendar, as well as the academic calendars for the next three school years, is available online at https://www.winlockschools.org/page/modifiedcalendar.