GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Students in the Gulfport School District will have to get used to a new schedule soon. After gathering surveys from parents and community members, the district will start its new “flexible schedule” starting this July.
The new schedule under the new format begins July 23, 2021, and that year concludes June 7, 2022. The district said there will still be 180 days of school and normal holidays.
The new schedule was approved in October, and it will be the first of its kind in South Mississippi.
The district also explained that every 45 days, there will be about a week of break, which potentially makes summer break 6-8 weeks.
Dr. Lea Bellon, Director of Instructional Programs, said that breaks will provide options for students’ educational needs.
“Students can use that for their vacation time, or they can participate in activities at our school,” said Bellon. “We’ll have acceleration activities for students who need support. We’ll have enrichment activities that involve camps and community members and all kinds of activities for the students.”
Bellon also said that this avoids students forgetting information over the summer.
“Research has shown that summer slump creates that achievement gap,” said Bellon. “We want to avoid that. We want students to continue learning and offer additional opportunities.”
Administrators explained that students can also get involved with extracurricular activities with organizations the district partnered with. Some organizations included the Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts and several more.
Justin Gros, sixth grade administrator of Central Middle School, said that the schedule provides an opportunity for students to catch up if they’re behind.
“What most schools do is try to do their make up in the summer, and what this provides is an opportunity to catch those kids up after the first 45 days so they’re not wasting the whole school year,” said Gros. “We’re able to identify the kids that need help immediately and fix that problem so they can be successful for the rest of the school year, instead of waiting.”
If you want to see the district’s full 2021-2022 schedule, click here.