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Modified Calendar Frequently Asked Questions

What is a modified school calendar?

Starting with the 2004-2005 school year, Samuel W. Tucker Elementary became the city's first school with a modified school calendar. Tucker students attend school the same number of days as included in the traditional calendar, but have the option of attending up to 30 additional days of school. Tucker students begin school in late July or early August so they have less academic regression and more retention of information. The summer days are redistributed throughout the year so that students attend school for approximately nine weeks and have a break in between. During this break or extended learning session, the school hosts a two-week intersession where the school is open. Most parents have the option for their children to attend Tucker for extra learning while other students may be required to attend for additional review. For the convenience of families with children in other ACPS schools, the winter and spring breaks and the last day of school coincide with the traditional Alexandria City Public Schools calendar.

What is extended learning?

Extended learning is a two-week period rescheduled from summer vacation and redistributed within the school year. Extended learning can be used as vacation but are usually used as instructional time for remediation and enrichment. Extended learning typically involves school staff and community resources to provide a safety net and an academic boost to avoid failure or enhance achievement.

Why use a modified school calendar?

Research shows that there are many benefits to a modified school calendar, some of which are outlined below.

  • Learning is continuous with a modified school calendar. The extent of learning loss that results from interruptions in learning due to school closure is reduced when learning is spread out over extended periods.
  • Studies show that children do not maintain the same rate of learning over the summer as they do during the traditional school year. Low-achieving students are more seriously affected by this decline than average and high achievers.
  • Studies also show that students remember more information, especially in reading and math, which means increased performance in the classroom.
  • Extended learning will result in less stress and burnout for teachers and students. The break refreshes teachers and students and increases enthusiasm and motivation for teaching and learning.
  • Schools who have adopted the modified school calendar report increased student attendance, fewer discipline problems, and a reduced student dropout rate for older students.
  • The new calendar provides families with a more flexible way to plan family gatherings and vacations.

What is the cost for my child to attend extended learning?

Students who are required to attend remedial sessions will do so at no cost. Students will be required to register for each enrichment extended learning session they wish to attend. The school board will determine fees, but it is anticipated that there will be a cost of $125.00 per student for each session. The cost for students who qualify for free or reduced lunch is anticipated to be $10.00 per student for each session.

Is transportation provided during extended learning?

Transportation is provided to students who normally ride the bus. The buses run the normal routes before and after school.

Will meals be provided during extended learning?

Breakfast and lunch will be served during extended learning. Students receiving free or reduced meals will be allowed to continue receiving those during extended learning.

Will the Campagna Center continue to operate during extended learning?

Campagna will be available during extended learning. The program will operate as it does for the regular school day. This will include before and after school. Only students enrolled in Campagna may use the service during extended learning. Families should contact Mrs. Cook, the site director, at 703-751-1752, so she will know who will be attending extended learning and who will be taking the time off.

What if the modified calendar doesn't work for our family?

Parents of students living in the attendance zones of Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School and Mount Vernon Community School who do not want to participate in the modified calendar may request an administrative transfer to another ACPS school that follows the traditional calendar. Transportation is not provided for administrative transfers.

What about summer school?

Children who need remediation at the end of the school year and who are planning to attend Tucker in the fall will not go to summer school. Those children will be required to attend at least the first extended learning in October.