Haskell Elementary is Rockford's only year round public school. Kids start in July and end the year at the same time as the rest of public schools.
"We have the same number days of instruction. They're just spread out differently," said Principal Ann Rundall.
Scheduling at Haskell goes in three week blocks. At the end of each block kids and teachers get a three week break. That makes lesson planning a breeze for the next teaching period.
"Often during the regular school calendar teachers don't have that reflection time, that planning time," Rundall said.
Haskell is on the watch list for not meeting some state standards, but Rundall says she's seen dramatic advancements over the past two years. She thinks the year round schedule has helped improve kids' performance.
"You don't have the long summer where students forget things they've learned."
Haskell has another alternative policy aimed at keeping kids focused on education. Parents voted to require students to wear uniforms this year.
"It's one more step that helps them understand it's time to learn," said Julian Jacques, a student support specialist at Haskell. Teachers say students no longer talk about what they're wearing. Instead they're talking about what they're learning.
"We've seen some problems in the past where kids are wearing really expensive shirts to school, and something happens to it and they're really upset about that. We’re here if something happens to the shirt we have extra uniforms kids can wear," said Jacques.
Uniforms also save parents money. Most of the shirts and pants cost six dollars or less. Kids just have to save their fashion sense for the weekend.