Reporter: Lauren Compton l Videographer: Ira Quillen
Lynchburg, VA- While most kids are out of school, the students at one school in Lynchburg are just getting started with their school year.
Bass Elementary is the only school with an extended schedule in the Hill City, and teachers say it makes a big difference. These kids go to school the same amount of days, but they don't take a three month summer break. Teachers say they retain more of what they learn.
It's day one of class at Bass Elementary School in Lynchburg. And, the principal says students have been champing at the bit to get back to the books.
"I've had kids who were knocking on the doors and ringing the doorbell this summer," said Leverne Marshall, principal at Bass Elementary.
It may seem like an unusual thing to hear, but teachers attribute a lot this to the extended schedule.
"They get four full weeks for summer vacation. We as teachers feel is the perfect amount, because it doesn't give them long enough to forget the information. But it's long enough for them to feel rested," said Brittany Whitaker, a reading teacher at Bass Elementary School.
Throughout the year, the kids get five weeks off called intercessions, a break for most students, remediation time for others.
"One of the classroom teachers that are able to work with that student more one-on-one, give them individual attention, really pinpoint with whatever topic they are struggling with," said Whitaker.
The school introduced this schedule eight years ago. Since then, test scores have shown it works.
"Our test scores are fantastic. We're the only school in the city that has the extended year schedule, and we have the highest test scores in the city," said Whitaker.
Marshall says the schedule is only part of the equation. The school has smaller class sizes, giving teachers more time for one-on-one help. He also credits those leading the classroom.
"You have dedicated teachers, and having dedicated teachers make a big difference, teachers with passion, teachers that actually want to teach," said Marshall.
And, the school believes family should get involved. They ask parents to work with their kids at least once a week. And then even offer G.E.D. classes.