The catch-up game

Students getting back up to speed after winter break

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After nearly two weeks away from the classroom during winter break, Moffat County School District students returned Wednesday.

With eight days of classroom instruction before semester's end, students are remembering what they were covering before break to prepare for assessments this week.

"It's probably not the ideal, but in order to alleviate that kind of split Christmas break, we would have to start closer to the beginning of August rather than the end of August," Superintendent Pete Bergmann said.

He said that introduces other problems.

Deb Yoast, eighth-grade math teacher at Craig Middle School, said she doesn't let winter break interrupt her instruction.

"I treat (students) like we've never been gone. We were here yesterday," Yoast said. "They try to get squirrelly but I don't allow for it."

She said teachers are constantly refreshing students' memories, so doing that after a two-week respite is nothing out of the ordinary.

"As teachers, we're reminders anyway. We're constantly reminding," Yoast said. "I don't feel it's anything above and beyond what we do normally."

Eighth-graders Keegan Welder and Jessie Wiseman, students in Yoast's Algebra 1 class, said they did not have assignments and that they did not study during break.

And with assessments quickly approaching, Welder said he's now wishing they had finished the semester before leaving on break.

"I'm not ready for (assessments)," he said. "I forgot everything over break."

But Wiseman said she likes the schedule the way it is now.

"You just get back into the swing of things pretty easily," Wiseman said.

Paul Nelson, a Moffat County High School junior, said math is the most difficult subject for him to get back up to speed in. Even so, he doesn't think the break affected him much. But he'd still like the semester to end before break so he didn't have to play the catch-up game.

"Yeah, that'd be nice," Nelson said. "But it doesn't work that way, I guess."

Changing the schedule is a possibility, Bergmann said.

The board is currently weighing three options for the district's three-year calendar. One includes a first semester end before winter break.

Bergmann said that calendar has received the lowest approval ratings.

"A lot of the response is it's too early for school without ventilation and air conditioning," Bergmann said.

Commenting on calendar options has been open to teachers, and is now available to parents and other community members.

To view the calendars and comment, visit www.moffatsd.org and click on "Take the school calendar proposal survey" at the top of the page.

Michelle Perry can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or mperry@craigdailypress.com.

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