No Year-Round Schools

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No Year-Round Schools

Gabby Douglas, Staff

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Summer is generally a time that many students and teachers look forward to after a long and tiring school year. The school year has been traditionally 180 days of school with a long summer break. In some schools, this traditional calendar was changed, and a year-round schedule was implemented.   

The most popular form of year-round school is with the 45-15 plan. The students go to school for 45 days and then get 15 days off. This is a continuous cycle for a year-round period.  

Students in the year-round school go to school the same number of days as students in schools with a long summer break. The only difference is that they get many short breaks throughout the year instead of one long summer vacation. 

“Year-round school seems like it is beneficial, but I believe this type of schooling would have to be implemented at a young age. Students of a high grade level would have a hard time adjusting after being accustomed to a long summer break,” junior Emily Ames explained.  

Long summer breaks are known to cause a decline in student’s academic skills and knowledge over the course of their vacation. Through many studies, long summer breaks set students back academically, in some cases even grade levels. Year-round schools help to prevent this learning loss.  

According to a study by Johns Hopkins, students from a low-income family are more likely to lose two or more months in reading achievement every summer, but regardless of family’s income levels, most students lose two months of “grade equivalency” with their math skills every summer.  

Year-round school allows students to remember what they have been taught more effectively because they don’t spend long periods of time without utilizing crucial skills and topics.  

Teachers love a long summer just as much as their students do, but they do see where year-round school would be beneficial to their students.  

“I think there is value to it, a lot of students come back to school after the summer and they have forgotten a lot of the material,” Math teacher Glenn Savage stated.  

Although year-round schools appear to be very beneficial in regard to student’s knowledge and progress within the classroom, they also have some disadvantages.  

Although long summer breaks typically get the reputation of being detrimental to student’s learning, summer breaks and vacations can also provide students with beneficial learning opportunities that aren’t obtainable in the walls of a classroom.  

“My family and I travel out of the country almost every year, and it’s so fun to learn about different cultures and see different parts of the world. If we didn’t have longer breaks me and my family wouldn’t get to do this very year,” junior Sydney Westwick explained.  

Also finding child care that works well with a year-round school can be challenging for parents. Parents may also find it difficult managing and scheduling family vacations, and quality time for the family. 

“A lot of my family lives far and summer is the only time we really get to see each other. Having a year-round school schedule would limit the time I get to see them,” junior Maddie Harding stated. 

Without a long summer, parents and teachers worry that working continuously throughout the whole year will tire both the students and teachers out and the learning and delivery of that learning will be impacted negatively.  

Although year-round schooling may have its disadvantages, many people see the clear academic advantages. The traditional school year is considered the “norm” but it’s also the law. Every district has their own rules which is heavily responsible for why the majority of schools have not transitioned into the year-round schedule.  

In addition, not everyone is in favor of the year-round schooling. Year-round schooling has only shown a greater change in the academic improvements of those in poverty. Higher level students and better schooling districts aren’t believed to have as much of an impact from the year-round schooling.  

An elementary school in Caledonia opened in 1999 and has the year-round schedule implemented. They were allowed to keep this schedule because it started before Governor Jennifer Granholm had passed a bill saying all schools start after Labor Day. She passed this bill to promote interstate tourism.  

Due to certain districts implementing bills like Governor Jennifer Granholm, school districts can’t change schools from the traditional school year.  

Is it really the education of the youth we are concerned about? Or is it always about the money?  

Whether you and your family favor one version of the school year or the other, if you have the option, exploring and discussing both options to see what works best for you can be beneficial.