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KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) – Most grade school students have one more month before they head back to school, but for some, Wednesday was the first day of class.

Ridge Park Charter Academy is one of the only schools in West Michigan to start this early. Students attend an equal number of school days as their peers in other schools, but they get additional breaks throughout the school year. Staff say under the modified schedule, students are not as likely to need to revisit lessons after summer break.

"When kids have 11 weeks, 12 weeks off in the summer, they forget a lot of that stuff. These kids here only have six weeks off so it's almost like coming back after Christmas vacation," explained David King, the director of school quality at Ridge Park Charter Academy.

Many Ridge Park students do not speak English as a first language; this system is also intended to help them retain more of what they've learned.

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