Thousands of students learning in BCS classrooms during intersession week

Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 11:44 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 24, 2023 at 12:35 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Thousands of Birmingham City School students are in the classroom this week, even though they aren’t required to be there.

This is the second year Birmingham City Schools has incorporated intersession weeks into their academic calendar. The superintendent says last year, 2,000 students attended intersession and this week, 6,000 are in the classroom.

Dr. Mark Sullivan says they introduced these weeks to simply keep students learning in the classroom longer. Coming out of the pandemic, he says they looked at test scores and realized the need for a change.

The superintendent says the state of Alabama has 180 days of instruction each year, so to add more time for learning, the district starts school earlier and ends later. That way they’re able to add these optional weeks within the school year.

Dr. Sullivan says the district provides remediation and grade recovery for those who are struggling, along with enrichment for those who are exceeding.

“If our students take advantage of each one of those intersession periods, they get closer to 200 days of instruction in a year where they only would have -- if we didn’t do this -- get 180 days, so that’s almost 20 extra days of learning for students,” said Dr. Sullivan.

This intersession week is in addition to spring break next week. All Birmingham City School students will return to the classroom on Monday, April 3.

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