On Monday, students at Samuel Tucker Elementary School returned to class a full month earlier than their friends who attend other Alexandria city public schools. Tucker is the first school in the city to try a year-round calendar.
Everything went very smoothly on the first day of school. "Our classes are full and our students are glad to be back," said Tucker principal Patrick McClintock-Comeaux. "The new schedule is a natural fit for our families and will provide students with continuous learning opportunities throughout the year."
Tucker students will have the same 183 instructional days as other students in the system. However, during the year, they will have three two-week breaks that other students will not enjoy. During these breaks, Tucker students will have the opportunity to enroll in remedial and enrichment learning so that they can catch up on skills or explore new subjects. The first of these two-week sessions will be held from Oct. 4 through Oct. 15. The second will be from Jan. 3 through Jan. 14 and the third will be held from March 28 through April 8.
Tucker students will observe all school holidays and school will end on June 23 just as it will for all other students. They are simply beginning school earlier and will have short breaks throughout the year.
"I believe in giving our families choices in their children's education," said Superintendent Rebecca L. Perry. "Here in Alexandria, we have schools that offer a traditional program; an arts focus; a science, math and technology focus; and dual language programs. Now we have a school that offers students a different calendar to minimize their learning loss over the summer break and to keep their academic skills sharp."