WHAT IS A BALANCED YEAR CALENDAR?
At IFS, we are one of the first independent schools to adopt a balanced year calendar. This brings to our students the opportunity to learn more, grow more and discover more with less summer learning loss. A Balanced Year Calendar represents consistent and connected learning throughout the school year.
Balanced year school calendars are calendars in which the typical summer vacation of twelve weeks is reduced to 8 weeks or less. Breaks (called intersessions) of one, two or three weeks are typically given to students in the fall, winter break (around the holidays) and spring. The number of instructional days is more evenly distributed throughout the year instead of the traditional nine month school calendar.
The goal of a balanced year calendar is to reduce the instructional down time of the 12-week summer vacation. This downtime has been linked to academic regression typically called summer learning loss or summer slide. The result of summer learning loss is the necessity of the first six to eight weeks of a new school year dedicated more to review rather than to new learning.
Through use of a balanced calendar approach, schools seek to provide a full year of academic instruction through a more evenly distributed learning cycle resulting in diminished learning loss and more consistent learning gain.
The International Friends School day is 20-30 minutes longer than other local independent schools. The school year is 10 days longer. Calculating for the longer school day, the longer school year and minimized summer learning loss due to the balanced year calendar, IFS students who enter in preschool (3s) and graduate from 8th grade will have approximately 2.5 more years of educational instruction time than their graduating 8th grade peers.