Students in the Magazine School District returned to school Monday as they begin a “hybrid” schedule, the superintendent says.

The modified schedule has students coming back in late July, getting a break in October, another week for Thanksgiving, three for Christmas and two for spring break, moving the end of the school year into June, according to Magazine Superintendent Brett Bunch.

While there was a nine-week summer for Magazine students this year, that will leave seven next year. The school district has essentially committed to three years of the schedule to gauge its effectiveness.

Bunch said he’s heard countless times the school district is under the proverbial microscope.

“Everybody says they’re watching us,” he said. “There’s really nothing to watch for the first year; we’ll just start a couple weeks before everybody else in the state and finish a couple weeks after them.”

Other school districts in the county will begin school the week of Aug. 13.

At that point, those superintendents and other school officials interested in the success of the schedule shift are looking to see data relating to attendance, discipline and, primarily, academic success.

The goal is to manage the so-called “summer slide” educators find occurs between school years. Bunch said that can be up to 40 percent leaving teachers having “to spend four to 12 weeks to catch (students) back up.”

In the first year, Bunch said he would be happy with a 3 percent to 7 percent increase in testing data.

The second year?

“I can see eight to 12 percent increases,” he said.