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      Intersession Offers Catch-up Time for Continuous Calendar Schools

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      Atraditional calendar school usually has several weeks of summer classes.

      Butsince continuous calendar schools get started again during the summer, GIPS hasworked out a way to spread that catch-up time throughout the year.

      It'scalled "intersession," and schools like Starr Elementary have it three times ayear.

      Springintersession wrapped up Friday, and around 100 students at Starr were invitedto take part.

      StarrPrincipal John Hauser says fewer students in the classroom means teachers cangive extra help in catching up on reading, writing, or math.

      "We're getting them built up so when we rejoin theirclassmates once the regular school session starts again they're right wherethey should be," says Hauser.

      He says a brief change is good for student self-esteem.

      "Those students are lacking some confidence, it builds during the intersessionso they feel more comfortable working with their classmates and peers," saysHauser.

      Teachers and students come for a half-day of class during intersession, whichHauser says make the learning time a little more rigorous.

      "Our teachers make a point to be more active and provide those activities wecan't always offer during the school year because of the large numbers, so,yeah, it's hard work, but the kids will tell you it's a lot of fun," he says.

      Spring intersession is one week long and the continuous calendar schools alsohave a two-week intersession in September, then another week-long one justbefore Christmas.

      That adds up to four weeks of extra help for kids, something administrators sayequals what summer school would provide. They say it falls in line with the attitude behind the continuouscalendar, which is to keep kids learning throughout the year.

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