Surveys of parents, teachers and staff in Granite District's year-round schools show considerable support for the concept.
Dave Adamson of the district's administrative staff told Granite Board members that responses were mostly favorable to surveys completed in the five schools that pioneered year-round school last year. Surveys were sent to 150 parents in each of the schools and 311 responded.Eighty percent of the parents rated the year-round program excellent or good. Forty-one percent thought the system was an improvement over the standard nine-month school year.
Of the 200 teachers given surveys, 130 responded. The great majority - 93 percent - joined parents in rating the program excellent or good.
Adamson noted that teachers were given their choice of working in the year-round schools, and those who disliked the prospects were weeded out initially so the overwhelming support was not surprising.
The great majority of the teachers also reported an improved energy level and better morale.
"Improved morale was not one of our objectives in year-round schools but appears to be a by-product," Adamson said. Sick leave among the teachers was down 18.5 percent over the previous year.
Although student achievement did not appear to be significantly different than it had been on the regular school calendar, the perception of 43 percent of the parents was that it had improved. Teacher perceptions of better academic outcomes were even greater. They also said student behavior improved in the year-round setting. Three of the five schools had the best attendance records in history and a fourth was the second highest.
Secretaries and custodians were less enthusiastic, seeing the year-round sessions as a significant increase in their workload. Still, the greater number preferred the year-round school system.