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Southern Kentucky Superintendent Open to Idea of Year-Round School

Barren County Schools

The superintendent of Barren County Schools says he would be willing to consider the idea of year-round school.

The concept has come up recently following several episodes of harsh winter weather that led many school systems to cancel classes over a dozen times.

Barren County Superintendent Bo Matthews says it might be a good idea to think about officially shortening the summer break, since it is often gets impacted by make-up days caused by bad weather.

"The summer break, if you will, continues to get smaller if you look at school calendars around the state,” Matthews told WKU Public Radio. “So, in some respects, it wouldn't be a stretch to see us begin to creep further into the month of June."

Barren County has missed 16 days this school year due to bad winter weather. Lawrence County has missed 32.

Year-round school calendars vary, but most feature three or four week summer breaks, much shorter than what most U.S. schools currently offer. In exchange, the year-round calendar would have more one-to-two week breaks sprinkled throughout the year.

"We have to put in a required number of days, per statute,” Matthews said. “So it's as broad as it is long. You could have longer breaks and go deeper into the summer, or start school later in August and go further into June."

Jefferson County Representative Mary Lou Marzian recently said it might be time for the state to begin thinking about adopting a year-round calendar. She spoke in Frankfort as lawmakers discussed allowing Kentucky schools to forgive up to 10 winter weather school days.

Kevin is the News Director at WKU Public Radio. He has been with the station since 1999, and was previously the Assistant News Director, and also served as local host of Morning Edition.
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