HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — Hot Springs School District is currently exploring the idea of switching to year-round school.
“Was there learning loss from the pandemic? Absolutely, man, if anybody tells you differently, I just can't believe it,” said Superintendent Dr. Stephanie Nehus.
Dr. Nehus said that the district has been looking for ways to close learning gaps and believe that one way to do that is through year-round school.
“Students will still come to school 178 student interaction days, they will have 178 days, just like they do now, in a traditional school calendar, our teachers will still work 190-day contracts," explained Dr. Nehus.
Dr. Nehus added that the idea has already been brought to some of the district’s staff— and next it will go to parents.
“Start finding out if there would be challenges that we might not be thinking about or concerns,” said Dr. Nehus.
Dr. Nehus held a community meeting on Thursday night for parents to ask questions or give suggestions.
The district stated that they don't want to make any decisions right away.
“Obviously, being at the exploratory stage, we don't want to put a lot of effort into something that the community is not even interested in,” said Dr. Nehus.
In the end, if everyone agrees. Dr. Nehus said they'll move forward with the plan.
“We will push out a formal survey to all staff to students, to our parents to our community and then we'll continue to gather the research data behind that,” added Dr. Nehus.
The big change isn't something that would happen overnight.
“Is this something that we could shift to as early as next year possibly, but it could be years down the road, if it's an avenue, we even choose to go down,” she explained.
There are also rules the district must follow.
“The year-round school, calendar law, states that you cannot have a break longer than seven weeks, including in the summer and so what it will look like is two weeks, every quarter, the students and the staff would have a chance to refresh,” said Dr. Nehus.