Birmingham’s Year Round School Proposal

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Madison Tanner, Writer

Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Dr. Mark Sullivan announced that the district is proposing a modified school schedule to account for the academic struggles caused by Covid-19. The proposed start date of this new schedule is July 19, 2021, but this is tentative and most likely subject to change in the future. 

“We cannot wait to start developing plans to meet the needs of our scholars, who have experienced academic challenges while facing the realities of this pandemic,” said Superintendent Dr. Mark Sullivan. 

This proposed calendar is not set in stone quite yet and the Birmingham School District is waiting for feedback from the community before moving forward with a definitive plan. 

While it is true that there has been significant learning loss brought about by this pandemic, a year-round school schedule at best would only alleviate some of the tension and make it much worse at best. Alabama has been consistently ranked bottom of the barrel in education for years, our state’s learning problems are long-standing and not just brought on by Covid. It is true that this schedule could bring about improvements for the students in Birmingham, but they will still be receiving the same education they have been, just for more of the year. There is also the mental health of students to consider, going year-round could be the needle that broke the camel’s back for many students, especially during a pandemic. 

Making up for lost time should not be the priority, but rather ensuring that the time that is had is spent receiving the highest quality education available. Extra days of sub-par learning is only a band-aid fix to a much larger, gaping wound in Alabama’s side that has been present for years.