Right out the gate, let me first say that this is a VOLUNTARY program. Nobody is forcing Kalamazoo students to come to school for six days a week.

However, it is highly encouraged for some students who have may have been struggling, and apparently, it's gone over pretty well. In fact, first-year Superintendent Darrin Slade says so far, everyone is pleased with the program!

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The announcement was made back in January that the Kalamazoo School District would start offering Saturday courses for struggling students, specifically for third through fifth graders who might be performing below grade level.

In fact, third graders in particular showed lower than average performance in English and math proficiency during a 2023 M-Step Testing survey. Fifth graders in Kalamazoo School systems also underperformed. These are also the grades that may have suffered the most loss in tangible education during pivotal points in their learning processes during the height of the pandemic in 2020 and 2021.

Kalamazoo Six Day School Week

So in January, Slade announced the six-day schedule that he hoped would encourage students who want to learn, to come in and get a leg up on their education.

MLive talked with him about how things went on the first week of Saturday courses.

"It was the first time we've ever done it in the district, so (the KPS community was) just happy that it was happening."

Courses don't run the full day on Saturday, starting at 9 a.m., and end by noon. All courses are happening at Washington Writers' Academy at 1919 Portage Street.

READ MORE: Half of 2023 Graduates at this KPS School were Underqualified

I'm glad to hear that this program seems to be off on a good foot, because I remember how rough it was trying to soak in material when I was in school. Now, the adult in me ways I absolutely would have taken this opportunity to extend my studies another day, and get better at my coursework.

But of course, I was a kid, and just looked forward to recess at the time, so stick me in school an EXTRA half day? Nah. I'm good. One way or another, I'll make it up later, right?

"The district will also be providing lunch from fast-food chains like McDonald's, Chick-fil-A, and Burger King as another incentive."

Oh... well... that changes things.

Learn more about the Saturday program now through the KPS website, or by contacting the district to see if your child is eligible for the extended week's courses.

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