The Mobile County Board of School Commissioners approved several contracts during a special-called meeting on Wednesday as well as a year-round school calendar at Fonde Elementary.
Fonde parents have been surveyed and approve this change, which will take place beginning with the 2017-18 school year.
“We are excited about the year-round school calendar because it will enable us to most appropriately serve the students in our school zone,” said Principal Joy Gould. “We will be able to address achievement gaps and provide enrichment opportunities each quarter through the use of intersessions.”
Fonde students and teachers will attend and work the same number of days as their peers on the traditional calendar. However, Fonde Elementary will have two-week breaks after each nine-week grading period, and five weeks off in the summer.
During breaks, teachers will receive professional development and students will be able to participate in remediation and enrichment programs. Transportation will be provided to and from the school for students attending that remediation and enrichment, and breakfast and lunch will be provided.
Gould said the school is in the process of drafting its calendar, but students will still have the same holidays – such as Thanksgiving and Spring Break – as other MCPSS schools.
Mobile County Public Schools officials studied a year-round program in Arlington, Virginia, as a model for the Fonde plan. The school system held multiple parent and faculty meetings to discuss the proposal before adopting it.
“Based on the demographics that the school has, we believe this calendar would be a good fit to mitigate the learning slides that occur during long summer breaks,” said Dr. Reginald Eggleston, Assistant Superintendent. “We believe this will increase attendance, reduce behavior problems and increase student achievement.”
Fonde Elementary teachers will continue to follow the Mobile County Pacing Guide and teach Alabama’s College and Career Standards. Data will be collected on the year-round calendar to determine its impact on teacher and student attendance, academic performance, and student discipline.
In other business, the board approved contracts and agreements as follows:
- With the Mobile County Commission to provide $5,000 to both Vigor and LeFlore high schools to purchase new band uniforms.
- With the Town of Mt. Vernon to lease the former Belsaw-Mt. Vernon Elementary School.
- With Lean Frog Business Solutions to provide assistance in improving efficiency and effectiveness in non-instructional departments, including Business Operations, Facilities, Human Resources and Information Technology.
- With Edgenuity for training on intervention and data-driven differentiated instruction for math and reading in grades 3-11.
- With Key Government Finance for state-of-the-art internet security programs.
- With Chuck’s Fish to lease a downtown parking lot near Barton Academy.
- A new District Comprehensive Guidance Plan.
The full agenda and supporting documents on all approved items are available here.