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MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WZZM) -- There have been dozens of changes in the Muskegon Heights Public School Academy during summer break, among the most noticeable for students and parents will be a year-round calendar.

School staff welcome students August 25, more than one week before other Muskegon County districts. And this year students will stay in school until June 17. Superintendent Alena Zachery-Ross believes a year-round calendar will prevent summer learning loss.

"Instead of being able to move on to that next grade level you have to go back and review," Zachery-Ross said.

Students will only have four weeks off in the summer and a few one-week inner session breaks scattered during the year. Even the breaks include additional time for education.

"There will be enrichment programs they can participate in like science camps," explained Zachery-Ross.

The Muskegon Heights Public School Academy System is one of four Michigan schools that accepted grant money from the state Board of Education to

transition to a year-round calendar. For Muskegon Heights it was $750,000 to make building changes, mostly to expand air conditioning capabilities at the high school and add air conditioning at two other buildings.

The district is turning Edgewood Elementary into a kindergarten and first grade building, making the former middle school an elementary for second to sixth grade. The high school will be for seventh to twelfth grades and renamed the Muskegon Heights Academy, with seventh and eighth graders on the second floor and older students on the first floor.

The district must stick with the year-round calendar for three year. School leaders expect at least 1,000 students this school year, with some students choosing the district because of the year-round calendar.

District leaders are hosting a community awareness day to discuss all the changes that have been made in the district since school dismissed in May. That event will happen Friday August 22 at the high school near the track.

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