There are only a handful of year-round schools in the Chicago area. One of them is Ridge Family Center for Learning at 650 Ridge Ave. in Elk Grove Village, which opened at 8 a.m. today for the 2011-12 school year.
The school is part of Elk Grove Township Elementary District 59 and parents were invited by Principal Barbara Zabroske to spend the day with their kindergarten to fifth grade child if they wished.
Ridge students have three breaks during the school year: two weeks in mid to late October, three weeks in late December-early January, and two weeks in mid-March, along with a short summer break. During the intersessions, parents may enroll their students in additional classes for a small fee.
The school also has a longer day, 7 hours and 10 minutes of instruction except on Wednesday, when it's 5 hours, 40 minutes, about the same as the normal day at other schools. Over the course of a school year, Ridge students gained the hourly equivalent of an extra month of school. The school also has full day kindergarten.