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Gallery: Sumner begins round two

Published 9:58am Tuesday, July 31, 2012

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Year-round Sumner kicks off school year

It’s time for round two.

The second year of Sumner Elementary School’s year-round, 45/15 schedule began this morning as elementary students started their first day of school.

“To be honest, all of us have that feeling of ‘Holy cow, it’s time for us to go back already?’” said Sumner Principal Sheila Berger. “But once you’re back, it’s just a day.”

The schedule, known commonly as the year-round calendar, gets students in the classroom for nine weeks at a time followed by a three-week break, then a shortened summer break. District officials pursued the calendar switch in 2010 as a response to flagging Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment scores.

Berger was pleased with the initial district data for last year’s students. Students scored an average of 31 points higher in the Scantron reading exam, and initial benchmarking for Sumner’s relatively new reading curriculum, Mondo, found Sumner students started last year knowing more about reading comprehension than before.

“We saw the same amount of growth, but when you’re starting off at a higher place you obviously end at a higher place,” Berger said.

It’s unknown how well Sumner students did on this year’s MCA testing. MCA scores are scheduled for public release Wednesday, as part of a new Multiple Measurements Rating system done by the Minnesota Department of Education in place of the Adequate Yearly Progress federal rating system under No Child Left Behind mandates.

Though MMR benchmarks were released this spring, it will still be about two or three years before district officials can safely say whether the calendar switch was a positive impact on Sumner student learning.

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