MANNING, S.C. — Clarendon County School District is preparing to welcome its 5,000 students back to the classroom on July 31.
It's the second year of a modified-school schedule, which means a shorter summer for Daniel Hodge and his children.
“Summer did feel short this year,” said Hodge.
"It’s all hands on deck," said School Board Chairman Arthur Moyd. "There are a lot of meetings, putting the classroom back together again, and getting ready to all systems go."
Moyd says it's the second year of the modified school schedule, which includes several short breaks during the year and a two-month summer. Moyd says the year-round model helps prevent the so-called summer slide and learning loss.
“All of our schools have improved or like the two high schools stayed the same and didn't fall back, so I was excited about that, but all of our schools have improved in their testing," said Moyd.
Moyd added other benefits like less burnout for teachers, cheaper vacation days, and more access to food for students in need.
Parents like Hodge have embraced the change with open arms.
“I really have no preference either way as long as they’re passing and making decent grades and going to school like they’re supposed to, I don’t really care. The downside for the kids is they get more days off during the year in between, but they don’t have the long summer break," said Hodge.
Moyd adds the district has 95 percent of its teaching positions filled, but is still looking for bus drivers.
"I think is going to be another great year we just going to continue to progress by educating our children," said Moyd.
Aiken, Greenwood, and Georgetown county school districts have also switched to modified school schedules.