Shakira Craddock teaches Language Arts at Druid Hills Academy.
She teaches students in a changing landscape of technology, and now time. The Project L.I.F.T. school is adding 19 days to the calendar and shifting the schedule so it runs throughout the year.
"I am excited. It gives us more of an opportunity to work with the kids," said Craddock.
It is time she says is needed to sometimes review a topic or provide enrichment.
"Given those extra days, we will get the opportunity to enhance the curriculum," said Craddock.
Thomasboro Academy will also add 19 days. Walter G. Byers school and Bruns Academy won't add time, but will shift the schedule to run throughout the year. Instead of a long summer break, students will take regular, shorter breaks throughout the year, when enrichment programs will be offered.
The hope is to battle summer learning loss that has happened in the past.
"We will get our children up to a building benchmark at the end of the year and then measure them again in September, and they've lost half a year's worth of growth," said Alison Hiltz, principal of Druid Hills Academy.
Project L.I.F.T. hopes to fight that. It says it will start monitoring progress from day one, tracking things like achievement, attendance and behavior.
"We believe if we see positive results in those areas they will have an impact on the final outcome, which is student achievement," said Denise Watt, Project L.I.F.T. superintendent.
Watt says she knows this is a lifestyle change for families and teachers. At Druid Hills Academy, educators are working to excite students about the change. They say most parents are on board.
"They want their kids to have structure in their lives. They want the kids to have something to look forward and do," said Hiltz.
Project L.I.F.T. is a public private partnership. It will cover the additional cost estimated at about $2.2 million.
CMS Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison says the district will monitor progress, and based on what is learned may consider expanding similar opportunities to other schools.