A dramatic schedule change at Vineyard Elementary School has brought little opposition from parents, but students may have some complaints next year when they discover summer vacation is a thing of the past.
The Alpine Board of Education last week approved a proposal that will bring an extended-year schedule to the Orem school next fall.Vineyard Principal Dennis Nuckles said most parents and teachers at his school support the extended-year program.
"The process that we tried to use (to decide whether to go to extended-year) was one of total openness with our parents. We had no preconceived ideas of which way we should go," Nuckles said. "We had a number of public meetings, and we felt extremely good about the process we went through."
Vineyard's schedule is patterned after a similar program already under way at Orchard Elementary School in Orem.
Students will attend school through 11 months on one of five rotating tracks. They will be in class for 60 days and then have a 15-day vacation period. The entire school will close in July.
The school year will begin the week of Aug. 1 and will end on June 30. Students will attend a total of 180 days, as they do now, but their vacations will come for short periods several times a year, rather than for the traditional three-month summer break.
Parents can choose which track they want their children on so their vacations fit the family schedule.
One group of students will be on vacation at all times, so the school's enrollment capacity will increase about 25 percent.
Students will not fall behind their classmates while they are on vacation, because they will be taught the necessary subject units throughout the year on a schedule that allows for their breaks, Nuckles said.