Grade 6 student Zaharah Gloria doesn’t mind going back to school three weeks earlier than most students.
“I like that it keeps me busy. I like that it’s easy to make friends here,” Gloria said Monday, before heading to his classroom inside St. Catherine Elementary/Junior High School in central Edmonton.
“I think it’s good because too much vacation, sometimes they’re really bored at home,” said Chito Gloria, Zaharah’s father. “A month and a half is good enough.”
The Catholic school district offers year-round classes at three city schools: St. Catherine, St. Teresa of Calcutta Elementary, and St. Alphonsus Elementary/Junior High.
Students return to school three weeks earlier in the summer and get a two-week break in October, two weeks at Christmas and two weeks in the spring.
“I think those intermittent breaks are good,” said St. Catherine principal Krista MacGregor. “Everybody seems to be always fresh, never kind of getting to the point of exhaustion.”
The three central schools cater to a lot of English as a Second Language students and the shorter summer break is particularly good for them, she said.
“It’s definitely making a difference because they’re not away from that spoken language for very long periods of time,” MacGregor said.
The teachers have also noticed it doesn’t take them — or their students — as long to get back into the school “swing of things and get going,” she added.
“It’s really good for the kids and for the teachers to get back into routine sooner and get a few more breaks through the year,” said Becca Palinka, who teaches Grade 9.
This is the ninth year Edmonton Catholic has offered year-round schooling.