It might seem a bit early to hit the books, but hundreds of Calgary Catholic students will begin their first day of year-round school on Tuesday. 

The program is meant to more closely match the continuous learning patterns of children.

With year-round education, the school calendar is divided into four equal terms. Students have a condensed summer vacation for one month in July, they return to school in August, then receive a two-week holiday in October and have extra weeks off during both Christmas and Easter.

The Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD) says the extra time off during the school year is meant to help kids de-stress and eliminate the idleness of a two-month summer vacation. 

The school district adds that the schedule may decrease absenteeism and provide more flexibility for some parents or guardians to better choose the option to better match their holiday schedule with their child.

St. Joseph School principal Paula Robinson says 70 students are enrolled in the year-round program at her school this year, an increase of 20 student over last year.

Robinson adds the year-round option is ideal, especially for students with English as a second language. 

“Having that two month break is a really long time not practicing your English skills and conversing with your friends and teachers, so coming back earlier is nice for those students,” she said.

These four CCSD schools currently offer the year-round program:

  • St. Joseph School (Gr. 7-9)
  • Father Scollen School (Gr. 7-9)
  • Our Lady of Fatima (K-Gr. 6)
  • Msgr. Neville Anderson (K -Gr. 6)

Each of these schools are dual-track, meaning they offer both traditional and year-round calendar programs. Students who live within the boundaries of these schools can choose between both options. Out-of-boundary students may be admitted if space allows. 

The Calgary Board of Education also has 30 schools that use a modified year-round calendar. Those schools will begin classes Aug. 15. 

As a result, different schools around the city may be a bit more congested with pedestrians and busses in the area. 

Calgary police are reminding drivers that playground zones remain in effect every day, all year-round with a maximum speed of 30 km/hr between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m.