10 D.C. public schools preparing to wrap up their first extended school year

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WASHINGTON D.C. - While many kids across the Nation's Capital started their summer vacation weeks ago, eleven D.C. Public Schools still have a week left.

It's a part of the extended school year program, which gives each school an extra 200 days or month of learning.

In total, 4,583 students are involved.

In 2016, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the she was expanding extended year to ten additional schools for the 2016-2017 school year as a part of her administration's work to accelerate education reform.

She visited Garfield Elementary School on Friday as they prepare to wrap up their first year with the extension.

"Each day we purposely take advantage of the additional time we have with our children," says Principal Kennard Branch.

Raymond Education Campus first piloted the extended year program in the 2015-2016 school year.

According to the mayor's office, on the 2016 PARCC exam, the school saw improved academic performance, with a six percent increase in English Language Arts proficiency and a three percent increase in math proficiency.

However, Chancellor of DCPS, Antwan Wilson, says the program is for more than combatting summer learning loss, but for the kids to have time with adults.

"We know students grow from being in places and spaces with adults who care about them who are concentrated on their learning," he says.

Some parents told DCW50 they are supportive of the program.

Others said it is especially beneficial for the younger students, but may get in the way of things like summer jobs as the kids get older.

"While he's young and he needs this much education, I do like it," says Risha Briscoe, mother of a 5-year-old Pre-K student Kimatni.

Chancellor Wilson says they are focusing on the program with the eleven schools for the upcoming school year.

However, conversations are in the works for how they can open the program to other schools that express interest.

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