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Montessori School Using Year Round Calendar

Spruce Tree Montessori School

Summer means school is out, but a Fairbanks private grammar school plans to eliminate the two month plus long vacation. Spruce Tree Montessori director Sabrina Binkley says her school’s new calendar will instead offer breaks evenly throughout the year.

"A 7-2 template, which is seven weeks on, two weeks off, September through August year round. And we're going to do that starting this fall," she said.

Binkley says the change has been well received by Spruce Tree Montessori parents. She says year round calendars have proven successful in many K through 6th grade schools around the world.

"Not only are the academic benefits profound at the elementary level, but it gives parents and teachers a time to recharge their batteries and take breaks more frequently and shorter throughout the year," she said. 

Binkley acknowledges that school during the summer could interfere with some camp and sports programs, but she says breaks in July and August are in the new calendar. She says Spruce Tree Montessori has grown from seven to 35 students in its first three years of operation. 

Dan has been in public radio news in Alaska since 1993. He’s worked as a reporter, newscaster and talk show host at stations in McGrath, Valdez and Fairbanks. Dan’s experience includes coverage of a wide range of topics, from wolf control to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and dog mushing.