NSA restructures calendar

Published 8:35 pm Tuesday, July 27, 2010

For students at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, there’s something a bit unusual this year about this part of the summer: There’s less than a month to go before they’ll be headed back to school.

The payoff is that the school year is scheduled to end a bit earlier, as well.

School administration has restructured the school year for the lower, middle and high schools to start a week earlier and end a week earlier. This year’s school year will run from Aug. 23 to May 27.

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“The goal was to restructure the school year for a more productive pace,” said Tracie Thorndike, the academy’s community relations coordinator. “Hopefully, it will provide a better learning experience for the students and help with [Advanced Placement] exams at the end of the year.”

According to Thorndike, it’s the first time in at least five years — if not longer — the schedule has been adjusted.

No time is being cut from the calendar, but other changes included moving around teacher work days, changing some half days to full days and removing other days.

“It’s all to provide a more conducive school year for students,” Thorndike said. “The calendar was looked at to see when students most needed breaks instead of putting in a teacher work day just because that’s always when we’ve had one. This way they’re not coming back from spring break and having a day off. It will help it be spread more evenly.”

Last year’s schedule left many high school students in Advanced Placement classes for weeks after they took exams.

“We have numerous students in our school who take [Advanced Placement] exams,” Thorndike said. “At the end of the year, they sit around for weeks after they take their exams. There are still classes being taught, but it’s just not as conducive as it could be if they started earlier in the year.”

The new schedule also will also allow college-bound students the opportunity to graduate the first weekend in June 2010 and have more time to prepare, Thorndike said.

Nansemond-Suffolk will not be the first Suffolk school to return to session, though. Students at First Baptist Christian School get back to work Aug. 16. Suffolk’s public schools return to session Sept. 7.