School is back in session for some students

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Outside it feels like summer, but inside at two La Crosse schools summer break is over.

The school year began Thursday at both Hamilton Early Learning Center and Northside Elementary School.

"We have the same number of instructional days as the traditional September to June calendar and we end on the same day, we just start earlier. We spread them out a little more so that we basically cut the summer in half and then spread out throughout the year, three times we have an intersession break of about two weeks," said Hamilton Principal Ben Burns.

At Hamilton it's the seventh year of the 45-15 school calendar.

But at Northside it's their first.

At both schools officials say there is one reason above the others they are using the year-round schedule.

It's called the summer slide.

"I think just about everybody can remember the first few weeks in September of school and you're getting those gears going and it feels a little rusty and you kind of have to tread water for a little bit as you're sort of getting back to school. What we're hoping to do is to stop that so the kids are able to plunge right in and not have that rusty time," said Northside Principal Laura Huber.

In September, Northside announced it would change it's schedule starting this school year.

The biggest advice from staff at Hamilton that have lived this going on seven years, be patient.

"It is a big change, not only for the students but also for staff and parents and for the community as a whole. And so one thing that I know when Hamilton switched over, and then this past year for Northside, is that you really have to have some authentic discussions with parents, with the community. Make sure everybody's on board and understanding the purpose and why," said Burns.

For the rest of the School District of La Crosse, students will begin their school year on Sept. 3.

At both Northside and Hamilton, there are programs available during each of the intersession breaks.