BALDWIN — With four years of the balanced calendar system now under its belt, officials at Baldwin Community Schools attribute the system to advances in student achievement.

Under the balanced calendar system, students attend school year-round instead of receiving a three-month summer break. Students at Baldwin Community Schools began their classes on Aug. 6, after a six-week summer vacation.

“The biggest highlight of the balanced calendar is less summer learning loss,” said Superintendent Richard Heitmeyer. “Instead of three months of summer break, when students’ brains are less engaged, they can retain more and are ready to come back and pick up where they left off.”

In addition to a six-week summer break, students also have a two-week intercession/break in October, a two-week Christmas break and a two-week spring break. During intercessions, students can enjoy a break, but the school remains open to provide opportunities for students to catch up on work or participate in enrichment classes which aren’t offered in the regular curriculum.

“The idea behind the balanced calendar is to keep kids engaged in learning as frequently as possible, allowing them to perform better academically,” he added. “Data indicated the balanced calendar has a positive effect on the district, with higher graduation rates and improved test scores.

“Kids still have 180 days of learning, just like other schools with traditional calendars, but it is divided differently — in a way to keep students learning.”