Year-round schools educational institutions are based on a schedule that has school throughout most of the calendar year, as opposed to having no school in summer. A motivation is that higher student throughput is accomplished via more effective scheduling of school resources. Year round schedules deliver the same number of total days of classroom education and vacation as traditional calendars, distributed differently throughout the year. Funding considerations favor multi-tracking students, which allows more students to use the same number of classrooms, instead of constructing entirely new schools. In addition to these systems, students enrolled in year-round classes often claim that their calendar schedule is more balanced. Advocates claim that year-round calendars help students achieve higher and allow teachers to provide more effective education. Reports from the California State Department Of Education show that standardized test scores increased an average of 9.5% in Grade 3 with an average increase of 13.3% in reading scores. Conversely, opponents insist that year-round education is detrimental to student learning. Some school board officials and studies indicate negative impacts of schedule changes and year-round education. Lawsuits have even been filed against various school districts, citing year-round schools as being “harmful to students.”
Experts frequently speak about “summer learning loss” as a major problem for North American students. The theory is that, during summer break from school, students set aside learning entirely, fall behind educationally and mentally in those three months, and come back to school behind where they left off. Year-round schooling counters “summer learning loss” by eliminating summer breaks and replacing them with more consistent breaks distributed throughout the year. Under this system, students enjoy a much more consistent and stable learning pace and rate of improvement.
Gary Hawkins – “[After short vacations of year-round schooling] It’s like they’ve come back from the weekend. They are basically ready to go where we left off; there’s very little review.”
Short breaks in a year-round schooling system can provide time for students to receive enrichment education.
“We found that students in year-round schools learn more during the summer, when others are on vacation, but they seem to learn less than other children during the rest of the year,”
It is very difficult to assess the impacts of year-round schooling. While some studies have concluded there are benefits, others have found no measurable benefits. The answer remains unclear.
“Students are going to forget information whether they are out of school for three weeks or 10. Therefore, teachers will be performing four beginning of the year reviews instead of just one.”
Reports from the California State Department Of Education show that standardized test scores increased an average of 9.5% in Grade 3 with an average increase of 13.3% in reading scores
“The third problem is insufficient learning time. In order to provide a long summer break, learning must cram within a shorter period of time, which requires students like John to either give up a comprehensive learning or cut sleep, both of which are undesirable. Furthermore, a long summer results in less learning time and less knowledge acquired.”
Ballinger and Carolyn Kneese indicate in their book, School Calendar Reform, “A balanced year-round calendar provides a logical pacing of instruction, followed by regular breaks. Refreshed by the breaks, teachers and students return ready to work.”
“Recent studies suggest that year-round schools do not improve education. Shifting days of attendance does not address problems such as lack of parent involvement and the need for restructured curricula, continued education for teachers, and improved teaching methods.”
Opponents insist that year-round education is detrimental to student learning. Some school board officials and studies indicate negative impacts of schedule changes and year-round education. Lawsuits have even been filed against various school districts, citing year-round schools as being “harmful to students.”
“Summer learning loss also widens the gap between rich and poor children because disadvantaged kids are less likely to have books at home to help maintain skills and knowledge.”
“Of concern to any school system is the low achievement of at-risk students. The number of at-risk students in the ACS district is 537 as cited at PTA meetings. There are about 4100 students enrolled in the district schools. The advantage of YRS for at-risk students is the possibility that remediation during the intersessions might help. Unfortunately this promise has not been fulfilled. As was pointed out at the Cary Woods PTA meeting, the suggestion that 9 weeks of failure can be remedied in one week of intersession is unrealistic.”
Instead of having summer break for 3 months year long school would have school for 3 months and a month of break. Students that like winter sports will have a chance to play them. Students that like summer sports they will be able to swim too. Every body is happy. There is a break for almost every season so it would be a good little break for them every three months they will be able to get away for a month. That will mean less stress with a long period of time to be in school. Students will have something to look forward to every three months, will have a goal, and will do good in school so that the reward is the month of vacation. Students GPA’s may improve along with the reputation of schools.
Year-round schooling means schools continue to operate on a 180 school-day system, yet they spread these days out differently with shorter breaks between each term. The most popular example of year round education is the 45-15 plan.
“The year-round calendar is organized into instructional periods and vacation weeks that are more evenly balanced across 12 months than the traditional school calendar.”
This fosters greater consistency of life-style and fewer of the “ups-and-downs” of a 9-month educational calendar.
Summer camps will have the same amount of time to operate, only spread throughout the year. This may actually help the industry due to the ability to diversify into other seasonal activities, such as skiing.
Most students get bored during summer vacations, when there is much less activity and stimulation. Why not continue their stimulation and enjoyment throughout the year.
One of the historical reasons for avoiding school during summer was the lack of air conditioning during summer months. This is a problem throughout the United States and southern Canada, particularly for older buildings. School buildings, classrooms in particular, tend not to be well ventilated. This is not a handicap when buildings have to be heated, but is when an older building is retrofitted for summer use. Room air conditioners are usually inappropriate for spaces with high ceilings and lots of volume – typical of most classrooms. They would also require electrical retrofitting.
Youth summer camps rely on the existence of year-round schooling systems with summer breaks. Year-round schooling will threaten the viability of these systems, and, subsequently the positive experience enjoyed by young attendees. Academic summer programs such as CTY demand a large block of time in order to teach their targeted content. While there may be an equal amount of vacation year-round with year-round schooling, they would be in blocks too small to allow for many types of summer programs.
Going to school every day for 13 years would anger and outrage almost every school child in the world. Ask any child who goes to school, and they will tell you that they do need a break sometimes. Kids need a break for school and a time to relax. The whole concept of making children go to school every single day for 13 years is absurd.
Juniors need to do college search, a wide range of students have summer jobs, etc.
“The traditional school calendar was devised mainly to serve the needs of farmers who needed the help of their youngsters during the summer. The need for three months off in the summer is diminishing.”
“It takes time to widely change an education program that has been used in this country for many decades. People get used to it, and it is human nature to resist change. Some of the resistance, though, originated from the organizations of summer recreational programs and other summer programs. It is, therefore, important for us to focus on our students and their needs. We then see that we just cannot maintain the status quo on traditional schooling and continue to put our students in a disadvantageous position.”
Resistance to change, in the case of moving to year-round schooling, is justified on the basis of the actual costs of adjusting to change. The adjustment period is challenging for students and teachers alike, takes administrative time and effort, and so is both emotionally and financially costly. It is not, therefore, unreasonable to considerchange itself as a potential cost in this debate. Particularly if all else seems equal between a traditional school and a year-round school, it is reasonable to resist year-round schooling on the basis that change is costly.
To access the second half of this Issue Report Login or Buy Issue Report
To access the second half of all Issue Reports Login or Subscribe Now