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Lawrenceburg students go back to school

LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. (Angenette Levy) -- It's only July 31st but students in Lawrenceburg are back in school.

Fifth grader Grant Fox and his younger sister Ellie went to school ready to learn although they summer was a little shorter than they'd have liked.

"We had to stop our Kool-Aid stand to go to soccer before school and stuff like that," Grant Fox said.

Lawrenceburg Community Schools are on a balanced calendar.

"I love it. I would have loved it as a kid. They go nine weeks on, two weeks off through the main school year," said parent Alex Nicholson.

The students' summer break is also shorter. They are off in June and most of July. Superintendent Karl Galey said the district adopted the balanced calendar two years ago to prevent the so-called Summer brain drain.

"When you look at students and they're out of school for three months, the loss of learning increases when you increase that time away from school so we were trying to balance then what is a good position where when students return we're not having to do a lot of reteaching. We're able to continue with the learning process," Galey said.

The breaks in the year also allow teachers to help students who might be falling behind.

"I feel like it's a good thing. I know our test scores have gone up in the recent years so that's definitely a positive impact of it," said teacher Amy Fox.

Like anything, the different school schedule has benefits and drawbacks.

"It's kind of hard to work out that random two weeks off in the middle of the year scheduling wise with my work schedule and stuff but from the kids' perspective it holds his attention more," Nicholson said.

But parents have adapted. And while a shorter Summer might not have students doing cartwheels, they say the first day of school was pretty great.

"My teacher's awesome and she gave me candy," Grant Fox said.

The school will evaluate the balanced calendar at the end of the school year. School officials will look at feedback from parents and test scores to determine whether the calendar is working.

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