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Posted at 03:39 PM ET, 01/27/2012

Prince George’s takes first step toward year-round schooling

Prince George’s County Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. wants to add year-round calendars to his arsenal to turn around underperforming schools.

Hite asked the Prince George’s County House delegation to support legislation that gives the district the authority to create year-round calendars for certain schools. The bill would make the county the seventh jurisdiction in the state that allows year-round schools. The delegation voted 19 to 2 in favor of the measure. The bill still requires additional approvals in the General Assembly.

“We want to have it as an option to meet the unique needs of a school,” Hite said after meeting with the House delegation in Annapolis. “That’s currently not available to us.”

According to the legislation, Baltimore City and Allegany, Anne Arundel, Calvert, Howard and Montgomery counties are permitted to operate schools on a year-round basis. Bill Reinhard, a spokesman for the Maryland State Department of Education, said there has been “limited experimentation” in some of the districts, mainly by some charter schools. “It has been nothing broad-based,” he said.

Hite said the year-round option could be implemented in some of the district’s lowest-performing schools. He said there are six middle schools that rank in the lowest 5 percent of schools in the district, making them candidates for reform.

By  |  03:39 PM ET, 01/27/2012

 
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