For years, discussions on the advantages and disadvantages of year round schooling have been popping up everywhere. Year round education has been a debated issue in education almost since it began in 1904 (National Association).
Supporters of year round education say this schedule improves the learning process. The biggest debate, however, comes from the parents and teachers who believe there are no proven studies that year round education helps the learning process at all. So, is year round schooling a good choice for the education of your children?It is for mine.
There are a multitude of reasons on both sides of this debate. However, one thing is very clear; every parent wants their son or daughter to succeed in life and to do so they must first attend and succeed in school. First I need to explain that there is difference between extending the school year and being on a year round education schedule. Students attending a school on the traditional nine-month calendar attend school for 180 days. Of course, if the year were to be extended they would attend more days per year.Children who attend a school with a year round schedule go the same amount of days, 180.
The difference is that year round education students have several short vacations rather than one three-month summer break. There are many benefits to year-round schooling. One positive aspect of this type of schooling is better retention for children.
After a short break the children are refreshed and ready to start again without having to review what has been lost over the summer. At traditional schools, teachers spend weeks reviewing to bring children up to the levels they were at prior to the vacation.Kids on a year-round calendar learn faster, better and retain more. With shorter breaks, teachers have a much better chance of maintaining their pupil’s academic skills. Not only do the children come back refreshed and ready to learn but the teachers themselves are refreshed and energetic.
There’s no meltdown in the spring when the three-month summer vacation is about to begin. Better retention results in improved academic performance. There is a number of ways the year round school can operate, including: 90/30, 45/15, and 60/20.The most popular of these calendars is the 45/15, where the year is divided into 4 nine week terms, separated by 4 three week vacations (National Association). Supporters of year round education believe year round schools are more cost effective than traditional schools. With population in some districts rising rapidly, year round education is said to reduce overcrowding of schools and classrooms. In many cases, school calendars are changed in response to population growth. By running schools all year, districts can pack in more students and postpone building new schools.
These supporters of year round education also say that by staggering the vacations and schedules, schools can increase their capacity. The cost of transitioning traditional schools over to a year round schedule is quite a bit less than the cost incurred of building a new school. Year-round education will become more prevalent in the future for several reasons. First, the American lifestyle is changing.
We no longer need the children out of school during the summer to tend farms and help out with family needs. Secondly, there are educational pressures to change the structure of the school year.As we build up documentation showing that there is such a thing as summer learning loss, and that a way exists to curb that loss, the burden will be on schools and educators to take corrective action. I think the public will demand that. And finally, there are societal changes as well.
People are questioning the wisdom of that long summer vacation. Social workers and law-enforcement officials don’t like the idea of kids having very little to do for up to three months, there’s too much chance for them to get into trouble.Although I am quite positive that the debates revolving around year round education will continue for some time to come. We need to remember the one thing that is most important in this debate. It is not that we need this convenience of our children in the summer; it is not so they can spend three months “living it up”, and it is also not so that they can have a break from it all.
It is, however, so that our children can thrive and succeed in this world that we have created for them, and it is our responsibility to find and provide the best possible means for them to do so.