School’s in earlier than usual in San Mateo

Karen Caselli and Kelly Rodrigues were back at work almost a month earlier than last year at San Mateo’s George Hall Elementary School on Monday, and although the summer sun was shining, the teachers’ assistants didn’t seem to mind the end of vacation.

“It’s been different,” said Caselli. “I didn’t get as much time for the summer.”

On Wednesday, George Hall opens its doors for thenew school year, almost a month earlier than other traditional-calendar schools in the San Mateo-Foster City School District.

Earlier this year, the school became the seventh district site to adopt a year-round class schedule that administrators hope will raise test scores, help students progress through grade levels more easily and give everyone at the school a few well-placed breaks through the year.

The change was requested in January, and the district board voted unanimously in February to authorize the change.

In a year-round school, students and teachers are in session for nine weeks and then given three weeks off. For summer, students get six weeks before school resumes.

Students are still in school for the same number of days, but they are spread out more evenly through the calendar year.

“It gives us a more balanced calendar,” George Hall Principal Angela O’Donnell said. “Every time you need a break, you then get a break, so it helps you plan out the year better.”

Board President Mark Hudak said the decisions to go to the year-round schedules are getting easier each time they vote. Having Abbott Middle School on a similar schedule has made it an easier decision, because students can flow from their year-round elementary schools into a year-round middle school.

O’Donnell said the benefit to students is that without several months of downtime in the summer, they’ll hold on to more of what they learned previously and carry that over into the next school year.

In going year-round, George Hall joins Beresford, Brewer Island, Parkside and College Park elementary schools, Fiesta Gardens International School and Abbott Middle School.

Around the state, there were 1,127 public elementary schools using year-round education programs and 146 middle schools during the 2005-06 school year, according to the California Department of Education.

jgoldman@examiner.com


Are you in favor of year-round schools?

Share your comments below.

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Some people are concerned that University of California, San Francisco’s expansion at its Parnassus campus could cause an undesirable increase in the number of riders on Muni’s N-Judah line.<ins></ins>
Will UCSF’s $20 million pledge to SFMTA offset traffic woes?

An even more crowded N-Judah plus increased congestion ahead cause concern

A health care worker receives one of the first COVID-19 vaccine doses at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital on Tuesday Dec. 15, 2020. (Courtesy SFgov)
SF to open three large sites for COVID-19 vaccinations

Breed: ‘We need more doses. We are asking for more doses’

San Jose Sharks (pictured Feb. 15, 2020 vs. Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center) open the season on Monday against the St. Louis Blues in St. Louis. (Tribune News Service archive)
This week in Bay Area sports

A look at the upcoming major Bay Area sports events (schedules subject… Continue reading

Tongo Eisen-Martin, a Bernal Heights resident, named San Francisco’s eighth poet laureate. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Tongo Eisen-Martin becomes San Francisco’s eighth poet laureate

Bernal Heights resident Tongo Eisen-Martin has become San Francisco’s eighth poet laureate.… Continue reading

Homeless people's tents can be seen on Golden Gate Avenue in the Tenderloin on Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 16, 2020. (Photo by Ekevara Kitpowsong/S.F. Examiner)
Statewide business tax could bring new funds to combat homelessness

San Francisco could get more than $100 million a year for housing, rental assistance, shelter beds

Most Read