Post-spring break is busy time for students, parents

SUWANEE -- This is the first year Karen Eastwood didn't spend spring break on a lake.

But judging from her son's reaction to three days at the Suwanee Sports Academy's MySport camp, the Suwanee mother doesn't have many regrets. Grant, 5, has been a regular at the facility's after-school program this year, and she's seen a difference in his school work.

Eastwood said her son, a Roberts Elementary student, enjoys coming to the facility for activity.

"He battles me going to school more than he does coming here," she said. "He prefers to be here than be at home," she said.

The Eastwoods, like many families around Suwanee, had their last break before the end of the school year turns to summer vacation. While kids Grant's age may not be as busy, annual assessment tests are around the corner for older students and their teachers.

For third grade through eighth grade, the state Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests will be April 23-27. The High School Gateway test in science and social studies for sophomores is April 16 and 18.

For high schools, end of course tests, Advanced Placement and final exams will be in May.

"I think we all need a break," said Tara Keltner, the assistant director at the sports academy, who ran the spring break camp. "Some parents drop their kids off, so they can have a break themselves."

Nancy Martin, Area V superintendent for Gwinnett County Public Schools, said the year-end schedule is not treated any differently than any other period.

"The end of the school year has the same focus as the beginning: teaching and learning," said Martin, who supervises schools in the North Gwinnett and Lanier clusters, among others.

Martin said she would encourage parents to utilize the GCPS' parent portal to be informed about their children's activities at school.

The warmer weather may yield more outdoor and hands-on classroom lessons, but Martin said administrators encourage those inquiry methods year-round.