9 Month vs. Year-Round School Controversy Resurfaces - 8 News NOW

Alyson McCarthy, Reporter

9 Month vs. Year-Round School Controversy Resurfaces

Posted: Updated:

Year-round elementary schools have been a fiscal necessity in our fast-growing school district for years now. But a new study shows students in year-round schools are scoring lower on standardized tests than those in the traditional nine-month schools.

A survey of standardized test scores last year found that Clark County students in nine-month elementary schools scored 10-percent higher than students who attend year-round schools.

That begs the question: do school schedules significantly influence academic achievement? That's what a study group of 15 parents and school administrators are now trying to determine.

The group was organized by District Superintendent Walt Ruffles to evaluate the effects of school schedules on finances, student achievement and even family life. Of Clark County's 206 elementary schools, 82 are currently on year-round schedules -- that's about 70,000 students.

After several years of being on a year-round schedule, the principal of Lee Antonello Elementary in North Las Vegas fought hard to move to a nine-month calendar three years ago. And despite the increase in enrollment, Lee Antonello reached high-achieving status on its standardized tests.

The principal says in a survey of her parents, more than 90-percent opted for the traditional school year --- and that has translated into higher attendance rates and increased parental involvement.

"Increased parent involvement means increased student learning and that means better test scores. So here in this community, our scores have gone up significantly since we've been on a 9-month schedule," said Principal Linda Reese.

But school district officials point out that many year-round schools are also successful -- and that test results alone don't take into account important factors. Some schools have larger at-risk and transient populations, which typically score lower on tests.

Other schools have more experienced administrators and smaller staff turnover -- which can also influence student test results.

The study group will meet again Friday morning to finalize its recommendations for the superintendent, who will then present his own proposal to the school board.

While these findings could lead credence to a fear of fewer year-round schools in Clark County, that is not likely and the reason is --- funding. If you were to move those 70,000 year round students to nine-month schools today --- the district would need 15 more campuses.

So it will likely be dollars that decide just how many schools will operate year-round.

Email your comments to Reporter Alyson McCarthy.
  • Las Vegas NewsLas Vegas NewsMore>>

  • CEO: UMC cutbacks necessary to stay afloat

    CEO: UMC cutbacks necessary to stay afloat

    Thursday, August 21 2014 7:40 PM EDT2014-08-21 23:40:55 GMT

    University Medical Center is facing its biggest employee cut in recent history, with 285 layoffs. This move affects both employees and patients at the financially-struggling, county-run hospital.

    More>>

    University Medical Center is facing its biggest employee cut in recent history, with 285 layoffs. This move affects both employees and patients at the financially-struggling, county-run hospital.

    More>>
  • 1 hurt in rollover crash at Russell and Las Vegas

    1 hurt in rollover crash at Russell and Las Vegas

    Friday, August 22 2014 7:29 AM EDT2014-08-22 11:29:02 GMT
    Metro Police are investigating a single vehicle rollover crash near Las Vegas Boulevard and Russell Road. According to police, the crash happened shortly before 10 p.m. Thursday night.More>>
    Metro Police are investigating a single vehicle rollover crash near Las Vegas Boulevard and Russell Road. According to police, the crash happened shortly before 10 p.m. Thursday night.
    More>>
  • Metro camera eyes crime at north end of Strip

    Metro camera eyes crime at north end of Strip

    Friday, August 22 2014 2:31 AM EDT2014-08-22 06:31:41 GMT

    There is something you may have noticed if you've driven by the new SLS Las Vegas hotel-casino on the Strip, a mobile camera is sitting in plain sight right on the corner.

    More>>

    There is something you may have noticed if you've driven by the new SLS Las Vegas hotel-casino on the Strip, a mobile camera is sitting in plain sight right on the corner.


    More>>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KLAS. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.