While 87 of our 88 schools open classes for the 2019-20 school year on Aug. 1, the other one got an early start last week.
Fonde Elementary, Mobile County Public Schools’ only year-round school, started school last Wednesday, welcoming its students back to its campus at the corner of Cottage Hill and Azalea roads.
This is Fonde’s third year on a year-round schedule. Contrary to what the name implies, a year-round schedule does include a summer vacation. Fonde just opens classes two weeks earlier than the rest of the system and ends the school year two weeks later than our other schools. The schedule also includes breaks of two to three weeks between quarters, during which students can take advantage of voluntary tutoring or enrichment opportunities at the school.
“For those who come, that’s eight more days of instruction with certified teachers, so that really helps boost some of our students who need that extra push,” Fonde Principal Joy Gould said. “If you ask teachers and students if they want to go back to the old way, they absolutely don’t. Positive behaviors have increased, attendance has increased. … Essentially, if we have students and teachers in the classroom together more often, we know that good things are going to come from that.”
Fonde parent Robbie Lewis said he believes the schedule helps students retain what they’ve learned through a shorter summer break and the opportunities for extra classroom time between quarters.
“You do want these kids to kind of retain that knowledge and keep that mindset,” Lewis said. “It might take a little adjusting for myself and maybe a few other parents, but I’m for it. I support it.”