TEP Teacher Work-Year
TEP operates on a year-round school calendar in order to (a) directly combat the ‘Summer Slide’ as a strategy for eliminating the achievement gap and (b) further efforts at developing a sustainable school model for teachers and staff.
Combatting the ‘Summer Slide:’ Year-round schooling, in which TEP replaces the long summer break with a 5 week summer break in July, a 3 week break in October/November and a 3 week break in February/March is one approach to attacking the ‘summer slide’ – a phenomenon that research suggests disproportionately affects disadvantaged students (i). As disadvantaged students often do not participate in summer enrichment programs (of any kind), they typically lose significant ground over the summer academically; their skill level typically decreases during the summer months. At the same time, the achievement gap widens between disadvantaged students and their more advantaged peers, who typically are attending some type of summer enrichment program (academic, artistic, athletic, etc.).
Developing a Sustainable School Model for Teachers & Staff: Research suggests that teachers and other school staff strongly benefit from a year-round calendar. Shorter, more frequent breaks throughout the year provide teachers and staff with regular opportunities to rest, reflect, and rejuvenate (as opposed to one extended opportunity during the summer). Principals report that teacher burn-out is dramatically reduced (in some cases, eliminated) by a year-round calendar.
[i] K. Alexander, D. Entwisle, and O. Linda, “Lasting Consequences of the Summer Learning Gap.” American Sociological Review 72 (2007): 167–180.