The debate over school boards controlling their calendars seems to happen every year in the General Assembly.

A bill in the House Education Committee should get a vote next week.

House Bill 35 is expected to be voted on Monday when the Education Committee meets next week.

The big question: What will schools do if it passes?

The recent rash of snow days has some districts wanting to start the calendar a week or two earlier to build extra bank days into the calendar.

Other school leaders, many of which have schools with a large percentage of students living in poverty could turn to a year-round calendar if the funding is there.

One elementary school in our area already has one of the only year-round calendars in the state.

William Marvin Bass Elementary in Lynchburg is a Title 1 school, comprised mostly of educationally at-risk students, typically they either live in poverty or English is their second language.   

Because of its Title 1 status, it's been able to control its own calendar.

For this school, switching to a year-round calendar has made all the difference.

When fourth grader Sadie Upshur tells her friends at other schools she goes year-round, "They say that's crazy."

Crazy has worked.

Nine years ago, Principal Leverne Marshall's school was failing.

The average pass rate on benchmark tests was between 20 and 30 percent.

"I knew that we had to do something different," Marshall said.

Marshall created a year-round system where, starting in July, students go to school for nine weeks.

After those nine weeks, students have a one or two week intersession where the school give students the chance to do extra remediation and-or enrichment, then they start a new nine weeks.

Today, Marshall says, "Parents love it.

"A lot of times, there's a lapse during the summer that hinders their progress in their education. With year round schooling, you're continuously going," said Kim Patesell, a special education teacher at William Marvin Bass.

Now, pass rates are over 70%.

Yes, the students have the month of June off.

No, they're not don't attend every intersession.

But at a school where nearly 95% of students gets free or reduced lunch, 70% doesn't have a father at home, school is the best place they can be, so parents choose to send them.

he instruction during intersession is helpful, the enrichment is educational but doesn't feel like school, it's filled with field trips, guest speakers, "Things that they do not usually get a chance to do," Marshall said.

Best we can tell, parents love it.