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The Optional Extended Year (OEY) program was initiated in Texas in 1995 and was first implemented in the Austin Independent School District (AISD) in 1996. The OEY is designed to add an extended school year and reduce student retention through four school-day options: (1) extended day; (2) extended week; (3) intersessions for year-round schools; and (4) summer school. Participating schools have latitude in the type of student support that is offered, and the faculty and administration of each school select their own methods of monitoring student performance. In 1998-1999 65 schools (50 elementary and 15 middle schools) offered OEY programs attended by 4,380 students. Retention rates for OEY students increased that year, a fact that is partially explained by an increase in program participation and a change in the OEY promotion policy. Results from the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) suggest that the OEY extended week program is particularly successful with middle school students, but no similar pattern could be determined for elementary schools. Overall, however, middle school students who participated in OEY had lower TAAS passing rates than elementary school students. It is suggested that administrators study objective-level TAAS data for program participants when planning future OEY opportunities. (SLD)

Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Elementary Education, Elementary School Students, Elementary School Teachers, Extended School Day, Extended School Year, Grade Repetition, Mathematics Achievement, Middle School Students, Middle Schools, Program Evaluation, Reading Achievement, Time Factors (Learning)

Author: Washington, Wanda

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=9811&id=ED442799

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