Summer Not Included
What do you think of when you hear “year round school”?Most people come to the conclusion of “school every day, no way” or “ugh, all year school would be horrible,” but the misconception lies there.The truth reveals that year round school schedules and traditional school schedules do not differ greatly.Year round school schedules still follow the 180 day school year.The only difference: the number of consecutive days that students attend school.
Year round schedules, for example, can go for 45 days and then have a 15 day break.In addition, usual holiday breaks still occur with a year round schedule (Research).Overall, these year round schedules may provide many benefits.All high schools should implement year round schedules in order to avoid prolonged summer breaks. Over the long summer break students lose previously gained knowledge.This extended break during the summer has gained the name of “brain drain” (Chen).
In fact, students can lose up to two months of knowledge during the summer.According to the National Summer Learning Association, “Most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation over the summer months” (Know).Several studies also show that children lose knowledge in language arts (Chen).These two months of knowledge loss can be as dangerous as swimming with sharks for these students’ education.Also, with a traditional school system, teachers have to review the information from the previous year.Content reviews are usually started within the first few weeks of school.
Two-thirds of teachers said they spend at least one month teaching students old material after summer break (Fleming).The re-teaching of past information limits further instruction of new information, thus inhibiting the amount of new knowledge students may gain.Furthermore, retention rates increase with shorter and more frequent breaks (Chen).Students from year round schools “demonstrated higher scores on some standardized tests” (Chen).Since these students attend school consistently, they have more time to review valuable information and use that knowledge on tests like the ACTs and SATs.Loss of a long summer or loss of knowledge.
I know which one I would choose, do you? Despite the fact that year round school schedules can provide higher retention rates of information to students, many postulate that traditional school schedules allow families to spend valuable time together away from the nonstop demands of school (Bennecke).The summer break does allow time for students to experience a family vacation, but a year round school schedule would provide more benefits to students both in the present and the future.In fact, students “retain more information during four short breaks than they would after the normal ten-week summer vacation” (Warrick-Harris).Also, the short breaks associated with year round school schedules still provide ample time for family vacations, if not more.In a study from 1985 to 1995 the number of schools utilizing year round school schedules grew by 1,804 (Warrick-Harris).
This shows that despite opposing views year round school schedules are still widely considered and supported by many across our country. Removing summer break and transitioning to the year round schedule may benefit students around the country and even the world.Students will not lose pertinent information, teachers will not have to waste time reviewing previous information, and retention rates in students could increase.Although not sought after now, in the future, year round school may replace the traditional school schedule.