IS THERE A BETTER WAY?
Emerson Elementary School sits in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the nation's 13th largest school district, like a kind of education United Nations-some 20 languages and cultures are represented in the school. Nine out of ten of its 800 students qualify for the free lunch program, and the school has to cope with annual student turnover as high as 90 percent.
The year-round education program seems to be working well in Emerson, which operates a 12-week-on, 15-day-off, multi-track schedule with the entire school on vacation for three weeks in July. During the 15-day breaks, the school offers special programs to provide remedial or enrichment classes for about 150 students.
To meet the needs of its diverse student population, Emerson has developed a special focus on school readiness. It operates a child development center for about 40 preschool children (one of six programs in Albuquerque). The center is particularly proud of its emphasis on parent participation and reports high rates of involvement in parent workshops and monthly parent-child activity days.
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