Summer Break Begins For Local Students After Extended School Year

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Several local school districts finished their year Wednesday, including Springdale, Prairie Grove and Fort Smith.

Bentonville will start their summer break Thursday; Fayetteville will start theirs on Friday.

Springdale schools spokesman Rick Schaeffer said after 11 snow days this year, parents and students are ready for the break.

The snow days extended school into June; the school also had two Saturday schools and used two teacher resource days. The school district is required by the state to have students in school 178 days each school year.

Schaeffer said Springdale had enough days built into their school schedule so that they did not have to ask for a waiver from the state.

First grader Trevor Castleberry said he enjoyed his last day of school because he got to play games outside all day. He said he was going to do a little school work this summer.

"I'm going to do some math to practice for second grade," Castleberry said.

Tyson Elementary parent Dalene Paull said her first grader and third grader were happy to play outside in the sunshine all day on their last day of school.

"They were super excited, and it was field day so they've had a blast," Paul said, "And they're excited for summer because a lot of our friends live close with it being a neighborhood school."

Samantha Evans also has a first grader at Tyson Elementary, and said while she and her daughter enjoyed the snow days, they did have a drawback.

"It was just nice to stay home in your pajamas and bake cookies, but now I'm sad because our summer got cut so short," Evans said.

Science teacher Kevin Thiessen said the winter weather threw his lesson plans off a little as well.

"You know, you always wonder if you could cover more, but we don't have much down time here at Central (Central Jr. High School)," Thiessen said, "We work hard all the time, so we get everything done we can."

Schaeffer said he was pleased with how the school year turned out for the nearly 21,000 students in his district.

"When you look at the gains we have made in literacy and math, and those are the things that we are really proud of," Schaeffer said. "But on the last day of school, kids aren't thinking about math and literacy. They're thinking about having fun and getting out of school."

For more information on area schools' snow days, click here.

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