Forrest and Lamar superintendents say altered schedule is working

PINE BELT, Mississippi (WDAM) – The Lamar County and Forrest County school districts have completed the first half of their new, modified school year. So far, these are the only districts in the Pine Belt under this schedule.

When you ask Forrest County Superintendent Brian Freeman and Lamar County School Superintendent Steven Hampton, “Are the changed school hours working?” ”You will get a resounding“ yes ”. Both said they have parent and teacher polls to back it up.

“The polls that came back from our staff were over 90 percent to stay with that schedule and not consider going back to a traditional schedule, and our parents’ polls were equally positive, around 80 percent to continue with the. current schedule that we have, ”Freeman said.

A significant portion of the modified schedule is the two-week breaks in the fall and spring called intercessions. Freeman said the breaks allow three options: enjoy free time, go to school for improved instruction, and get some students back on track academically.

“Those students who need more time or want extra time end up getting 10 more days if they attend both sessions,” Freeman explained.

Lamar County Superintendent Steven Hampton said they were starting to see the positive effects of their fall intercession.

“We also surveyed our students. Our students told us it was a good time for them to be able to have this one-on-one, small-group interaction with a teacher to be able to help, ”said Hampton.

Hampton and Freeman agree that the most surprising benefit of intercession has been the renewed perspective of the teachers.

“The teachers came back rested and ready to go. It was just a fresh start, ”added Hampton.

“A lot of our teachers were a lot more refreshed and ready to start and excited,” Freeman said.

Superintendents said that with this attitude, they are confident that the last half of the modified school year will be even better.

Freeman said more than 700 students attended the fall intercession, and Hampton said it varied from day to day, but the district averages over 600 a day.

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