year-round schooling

Is it a good idea to have school year-round? As a person who is still in school, I am obviously biased in my opinion (which is a resounding no) On the other hand though, even I realize that it cuts into the school year to have to review things from the year before. And the reason that it summer vacation was originally instituted (farmers needed their kids to work during the harvest season - or so I’ve been told. I’ve been around here long enough to know I should probably look for a cite but I’m … so … very … lazy… - maybe that’s why I like summer vacation) is no longer really applicable. On the pro side of course there is, um, well… I find myself suddenly unable to think of any intelligent reasons? Help me out here? (Or don’t, if that’ what you think)


I wouldn’t care either way. Though I do like the review month because that month I can slack off while everyone else reviews.

My mom is a teacher and her middle school just recently went to year round to help solve some overcrowding problems. She thinks it is a great idea because you don’t need as much review time, and also, she likes having time off every few weeks to get away from the kids.

I, however, feel that summer vacation is a great part of the American culture and some traditions have their place. By this I mean that I really liked having that massive chunk of time off to relax and get a summer job to earn some cash.

When school is in session was historically determined by the harvest season. Since most kids don’t have to farm their parent’s land, this is no longer a particularly compelling reason to maintain the September-June calendar.

However, it is simply not fiesable for those areas which depend on teens for summer labor. Tourist areas depend on teenage labor, and a labor crisis would ensue.

Here’s a thought - a rather nutty one I guess - but could we provide school children with a vacation allowance, much like adults have in the workforce? I get 22 days/year + sick days + holidays… which adds up to about 2 months off a year if I were to use all of it… that should be plenty.

I would support year-round schooling so long as:

  1. The school day starts at least one hour later than it currently does.
  2. Smaller “vacation” breaks, but more often.
  3. Hi Opal!

While I think this would be beneficial, wouldn’t it be something which would require us to pay teachers more? We have a hard enough time paying teachers a fair wage as it is, and many teachers spend that time off working second jobs to help offset this. I think it would be hard to convince teacher unions on any change of this magnatude, and even if the unions were convinced, many teachers would leave an already strapped-for-quality people profession.

All of this is probably moot. Our current president’s great plan towards fixing the public schools is to spend money to take kids OUT of public school… :rolleyes:

In my area, the main justification seems to be that year round school would raise test scores. Parents would also save on camps and other ways of keeping the tots occupied.

I can’t get a citation, but I remember a recent poll about this. In general, approval of a year round schooling and age had a converse relationship. The older folks favored it much more than the pollees just out of college.

I think it’s a stupid idea for many reasons:

Summer gives kids a big chunk of time to do whatever the please. Month long camps, trips to other countries, and long term projects(like building a treehouse) aren’t doable in a week or two.

The summer between grade levels was always sort of a rite of passage for me. I could “change” myself and get used to the concept of being in a new grade. The Law who returned in August was usually a bit different than the one who left in June.

Summer school will no longer be an option for studetns who want to catch up or move ahead. Why can’t the kids with low test scores just go to summer school?

Are all classrooms air conditioned? Will students be as likely to come to class when it’s 90*F out and the pool is open?

As mentioned above, areas that rely on summer tourism will be understaffed.

Year-round school with smaller breaks year-round? Nope. Won’t work. Here’s why:

Okay, we all know that the first few weeks of a new year are review. But once that hump is passed, you can focus on new info until you say goodbye at the end of the year.

With year-round breaks that add up to the current nine weeks spread around, you have numerous small humps to get by year-round. This not only is extremely dull for the students who knew it the first time around (like me), but breaks the students’ stride, making it hard to learn new information.

Plus, breaking up the vacation means nobody gets the big nine weeks to advance their career (teachers and administration), pursue different careers (at the high school level, practically everyone), or just be with their families and take vacations (everyone).

Finally, cooling those places in the summer is expensive. Big brick and concrete buildings with few windows (to save on heating costs during the winter) hold heat too well, something that would make summer sessions unbearable in the hot, humid, chronically underfunded South.

Some of the schools in my area have gone to year-round schooling with three-week breaks between quarters. Sounds OK until you realize that many of the students are spending as much as two-thirds of each break in special classes intended to raise their scores on the state-wide exams.

What ever happened to childhood?

LOL! It does work, man. I go to an independence high school, we have a year round schedule. We go to school for 8 weeks, and take a 2 week break. We also get more holiday’s then the rest of the schools in the district (it’s a city school, not private).
I like it a lot, so does just about every one I go to school with. The problem with summer is that it’s great for a month but it doesn’t take long for summer to get boring as all hell. I swear, as much as I hated regular school I would sort of look forward to the school year just so it would relieve the monotony of the sitting around and doing nothing. This way, we still get our breaks, but he don’t have to wait 9 months to get them, and they don’t get old but they’re still long enough to appreciate & enjoy. It makes both the vacations more enjoyable and the time in school much more tolerable.
Of course, I doubt that I won’t be at least a little jelouse when I’m going to school and my siblings and most of my friends are out for three weeks :slight_smile: but they feel the same way every 8 weeks when I don’t gotta go to school and they do.
I went to traditional (9 months school, 3 months summer) school for 10 years (kindergarten-10th), and this year I started at my currect school, and I find the year-round method to be much better than the traditional, as do the rest of the ppl in my school :slight_smile:

oops, I meant to say 3 months, not 3 weeks.
sorry to make a second post, but when I click on edit/delete it takes me to the login screen, and I log in, and it takes me right back to the login screen, no error or anything.

I’ve been on my Summer Break for almost four months now and I’m still not sick of it. :smiley:

The problem with year-round schooling, at least where I live, is that short vacations during the year are used primarily for studying. In my final two years of high school, it was recommended that we do at least 2 hours of homework a day for each subject. It doesn’t sound like much, but 8-12 hours a day (plus “optional” revision) is a lot. In fact, even the teachers called them SNAPs - School Non-Attendance Periods.

The eight week Summer Holiday is the time people go on family vacations, go job-hunting and generally wind down. Plus, it gives the teachers a little break when we got back to school and they can just hand out assignments about “What You Did During the Summer”. :wink:

The schools around here are taking compromise position, and I think it is brilliant. Summer break is 2 months long instead of three (June and July). They then take the 3 weeks that used to be August (Schools usually start the last week of August, soonly 3 weeks were really cut out) and add a two week break in october and add a week to Spring break. So the schedule is 9-weeks on, 2 week Fall break, 9-weeks on,2 weeks Xmas break, 9 weeks on, 2 week Spring break, 8 weeks summer.

I really like this idea–the breaks in the middle are long enough that you could do things, take vacations, ect (and October is a much nicer month of vacationing than August)yet there is still that big block of time for “summer” to seperate the grades.

You’ve got a good point, Kayeby. Fortunately, my school is also a self-paced school. The only homework that I have to do is the homework that I decide on my own to do. I’m not assigned any by my teacher :slight_smile: so our vacations are actually vacations, not study breaks

It’s nice to see that most people agree with me… here I was thinking that I was just being childish and not realizing what was best for my education. Also I was thinking about something along the lines of what Lawmill said about reinventing himself over the summer - how do you decide when to move into a new grade? It seems somewhat arbitrary that after 3 of those short breaks, you go back to the same thing, but then you have one more and, suddenly you’re in a new grade.

I think that what Manda JO’s school does sounds like a good idea, though.

I think that a key thing here is that it works for you. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work for others.

On a side note, how does your school handle college admission deadlines?

Year round school could quite possibly be a wonderful idea in certain areas. However, this doesn’t mean that it will unilaterally work everywhere else. Take, for example, the eastern part of southern Delaware. It is an area where the population goes up x6 in the summertime, and that’s just for people who rent/have summer homes- never mind the day trippers. The labor force of the beach towns is over 50% teenagers, college students, and students from Europe. There is already a summertime labor crisis, especially in the dog days. In areas like this, year-round school is utterly not fiesable.


Are you seriously saying that employment for students is more important than education? Here’s my reasoning:

If the school year is expanded to 12 months then it must have the stated goal of improving the education of the students. If that isn’t the end result then the whole argument for it is moot.

Curiously, I vacationed in Delaware this year (Rehoboth, nice place and quiet for a resort town) and was amazed at the number of Irish and English accents amongst the people waiting tables and flipping burgers. So I can relate to the concept of filling those seasonal jobs with school-age kids or imported workers.

But I can take seriously the concept that a childs education is not as important as the local economy. Dollars to donuts the kids that are going to school in Rehoboth are hoping to get the hell out when they graduate. This also harms the local economy. Using that reasoning wouldn’t it be best to restrict their opportunities for education so they’d never get the chance to leave?

In short, I guess I’m saying that for all the arguments I’ve heard I haven’t heard one that has its priorities straight. An education that provides a solid grounding in the sciences, arts, mathematics, english and the liberal arts is more important to a student than the local economy, the need for vacations, a summer job or just about anything else.

Sometimes the goal of year-round schooling is to relieve overcrowding. The school is open all year, but only about two-thirds of the students are attending at any one time.I think it’s probably a nightmare trying to get all the kids in a family on the same schedule, but it probably also cuts down on the people who take their kids out of school to go on vacation because a parent can’t get time off from work during traditional vacation times.

Just some IMOs on the subject:

  1. Your “typical” American student does not spend enough time studying in school today. Compared to most other industrialized nations, we are letting the kids get away with too little studying.

  2. Compounding this problem is that the current school schedule is outdated – summer vacations and 3:00pm end times worked fine for an agricultural society, but with most folks in urban environments today, it’s a bad fit.

  3. On the other hand, you can’t make students learn just by cramming them into a class for 8 hours a day, 365 days a year. They do need “rest times”, and you do want to give them some vacation time as well to enjoy life.

  4. Year-round schedules have two immediate benefits: (1) They give (some) relief to the problem of school overcrowding, and (2) they help teachers stay employed all year round.

  5. I suspect that we can find a schedule to accomodate points 1-4 above. Perhaps a school day that ran for 8-5 every day, with an hour break for lunch and another hour break for “study hall”. Juggle that into a year-round schedule, with periodic two- or three-week vacation breaks every month or two, and everyone would be reasonably happy.

  6. Of course, the final obstacle is getting enough money to pay for the teachers, school staff, and whatnot to support all of the above.

Given “President” Dubya’s mindlessly moronic attitude towards education reform, alas, I don’t expect any improvements in this area anytime soon. And people wonder why I’m so cynical…