For some people, the traditional summer vacations should continue, while others feel year-round schooling gives kids a competitive advantage over their peers.
One of the misconceptions about “year-round schooling” is the misunderstanding that year-round school lasts longer than the traditional school with 2 months summer vacation. In fact, the number of school days per year is the same about 180 days. Year round school divides the long summer vacation into shorter, more frequent breaks. Frequent breaks are the foundation of year-round schooling, but they aren’t for everyone.
This concept of year-round schooling is nothing new, it was created long ago to ensure children were home to help their parents harvest crops.
As far as students’ achievement, the outcomes are mixed and indecisive. However, the studies comparing the year round to the traditional schedule are problematic because they are inconclusive.
If students, teachers, and parents are not supportive of the new schedule, it is bound to fail.
When looking at this issue objectively, it seems both schooling systems have their pros and cons.
Year round schooling Pros
Here is a list of the advantages of year round schooling
Year round schooling Cons
Here is a list of the disadvantages of year round schooling
|Students will still spend the same amount of time in year-round schooling as to the traditional school. Students will spend about the same amount of time inside the classroom and outside the classroom but on different schedule.
Getting regular breaks give students time to relax and then come back to school with more energy.
It might be something new for parents and students to try, but it does not hurt students or their parents, it might even be a positive change.
Students in year-round school has the academic advantage, study shown year-round school students out perform traditional schooling in reading, language and math tests. A Duke University study suggested that children attending year-round schools are at a slight advantage because they don’t forget what they learned during the long summer break. “The longer students are away from material, the more forgetting occurs,” says Charles Ballinger, executive director emeritus of the National Association for Year-Round Education in San Diego, California.
“It’s a more flexible, relaxed, and effective way to educate kids,” added Smotherman. “One major new study shows that 54 of 64 school variables — attendance, grades, discipline, test scores, and so on – are better with a year-round calendar than with traditional calendars. Overall, year-round education offers schools an exciting, almost cost-free opportunity to improve quality time between teachers and students.”
“If our country began on a year-round schedule, it would have seemed bizarre to propose the summer-off schedule as a superior way to educate students,” added Colebank. “Since most of us grew up with the traditional calendar, changing to year-round [suggests] that we did it wrong…. It is human nature to resist change, (but) I believe the traditional nine months on, three months off calendar is educational malpractice.”
Less time for kids to get into trouble, young adults would have less time on their hand to be going up and down the streets or hanging out in the shopping malls.
Decrease in childcare costs because kids will be in school most of the time.
Summer vacations may be too hot for outdoor activities and long summer vacation may lead to more boredom and restless kids.
Year-round schooling system may be the answer for overcrowding by reducing class size and cutting cost for building bigger school. For example, students are put into different groups. While one group attends school, the other groups are off on their short break. A school built for 700 students may serve as many as 1000 students with the year-round schooling system.
Allow parents to take their kids on vacations other than summer vacations, this help to avoid crowds and other inflated rates over the busy summer months.
Allow teachers and students to go on multiple short trips each year, instead of one long trip each year.
The regular breaks reduces stress on students and teachers.
Year-round school may be better for students with learning disability.
Other countries around the world had used this system successfully.
|The academic improvements are questionable, while some schools may had some improvement with year-round schooling, other schools found no academic improvement. A 2007 study by a sociologist, Paul von Hippel, from Ohio State University, found that students in schools with year round school schedules don’t learn more in a year in math or reading than schools in the traditional nine-months calendar settings. “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,” said Paul von Hippel. Year-Round Schools Don’t Boost Learning, Study Finds.
Schools in Jefferson County, Colorado abandoned the year-round calendar in 1989 after 13 years of year-round operation in approximately 50 district schools because the district reports no educational improvement or increased test scores. Colorado County Drops Year-Round Schooling.
Prince William County, Virginia returned to a traditional schooling after 9 years of year-round school schedule because of little academic improvement, few cost benefits and parents protest. “Overall, no evidence was found that there is any significant difference in the education being received on the 45/15 plan as compared to the traditional calendar.”, Prince William County Schools Technical Report. BCTF Research Report.
“Moreover, review of reports from Houston, Texas, Oakland and Ohio reveal that year-round education does not help and (as found with statistically significant results in Oakland) may even hurt disadvantaged students.” said Dr. Shields. Year-Round Education: Is it Worth the Hassle?
Houston also returned to the rational schooling after 8 years of year-round schooling because it failed to reduce overcrowding and students achievement did not improved. “…indicated that there were no significant differences in achievement scores between the year-round and traditional calendar schools,” according to the Final Evaluation report on year-round schools released by the Houston Independent School District in March 1987. Houston finds no significant test score differences.
The introduction of year-round school may have some serious problems with students and their families.
Students may forget information even out of school on short breaks and teachers may have to spend more time on reviews.
Might disrupt family activities and vacation from the year-round schooling schedule.
Students may find two weeks break for every six weeks schoolwork can be disruptive. It can be hard for some students to go back doing schoolwork and then gear down for breaks.
Teens don’t get summer jobs, employment opportunities are at their highest for high school students between May to August.
More preparation for parents to buy food for school lunches and breakfasts.
Year-round schooling can be difficult for some parents to find appropriate childcare because of the schedule of finding a baby sitter every six weeks.
Outside school programs like parks and other recreation programs for kids will face major decline, as well as summer camps.
As school year-round schools are open all year, it require more maintenance, transportation and more money on utility for air condition during the summer and heating during the winter.
Some parents may find it chaotic to schedule on the year-round schedule.
If parents have multiple children in different schooling schedule, for example, one of their kids is in elementary school with year-round schooling while their second kid is in middle school with the traditional schooling system. The scheduling of daycare may become a nightmare.
Sports, cheerleading, theatre and band may have difficulty in planning and practicing with regular frequent breaks.
No more long summer vacations for students.