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No Summer Break, No Homework

By Justin Sobol

June 29, 2004 – While most school kids in Western New York are out on summer break, students at Pinnacle Charter School in Buffalo are forging ahead with their academic studies.

That's because Pinnacle runs on a trimester calendar. This enables students to attend classes throughout the whole year. There is no lengthy summer vacation, but there are three, single month long breaks throughout the year. Heidi Rotella, Chief Academic Officer for Pinnacle, said the school's trimester scheduling helps students retain more information.

"When you use a trimester calendar and looping, where students stay with a teacher for two years, you eliminate about six weeks of review instruction. Over a course of nine years, that buys a student almost three years of academic time," said Pinnacle.

Mary Henault, a teacher at Pinnacle says the schools scheduling, in addition to a no homework policy, helps students learn more effectively.

"Because of a longer day we feel the homework that would normally be completed outside of school can be done during school time. Also, we found that when it is sent home, it really does not get done," noted Henault.

Pinnacle is the only school in Western New York to run on a trimester schedule.