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. 
 
3 Teacher Development Institutes: The year-round model enables teachers and staff to regularly take a break and reflect on their practice at a development institute that takes place prior to each trimester. The purpose of the development institute is to provide time for (a) data driven assessment and analysis of student work from the previous trimester, (b) curriculum planning (unit and lesson plans for the upcoming trimester), and (c) shared planning time around a community learning focus (e.g. vocabulary instruction across the disciplines) for the upcoming trimester.

  • Trimester 1: August - October, followed by 2 weeks of vacation + 1 week Development Institute (students have a 3 week break)
  • Trimester 2: mid-November to mid-February, followed by 2 weeks of vacation + 1 week Development Institute (students have a 3 week break)
  • Trimester 3: March - June, followed by 3 weeks of vacation + 2 weeks of Development Institute (students have a 5-week break)
Note: TEP's calendar also includes regular NYC DOE school vacations such as Thanksgiving break, Winter Recess, Spring Recess, etc.

[i] K. Alexander, D. Entwisle, and O. Linda, “Lasting Consequences of the Summer Learning Gap.” American Sociological Review 72 (2007): 167–180.

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