The Possibility of Year-Round Schooling vs. The Traditional School Calendar

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Family vacations, pool memberships, and corn de-tasseling; these have been the experiences of traditional Midwestern summers. For centuries young American children have attended school during the winter months, during farming off seasons when their families could afford to be without them. Families have grown accustomed to a traditional school calendar that provides time for bonding throughout the year. Students have grown accustomed to an eight week break during the summer months where they are allowed to refresh their minds before returning for a new school year. Unfortunately, these traditional experiences and practices are now in jeopardy. In today’s race to improve student achievement, traditional school calendars have become a point of contention. Today more and more school districts and parents alike have begun to debate the pros and cons of an alternative school calendar. According to writer Vanessa St Gerard from The Education Digest, a traditional school year is defined as “large blocks of instruction with inter-spread week-long breaks, all culminating with a long summer break” (2007). This structure is most familiar to Americans today, however the new alternative schedule presents a variance in the time allocated for breaks throughout the school year. “During a modified school year, instruction periods typically are broken up into 45-or-60-day sessions with each of these being divided by breaks lasting three to four weeks” (St Gerard, 2007). In the alternative calendar, schools would still break for a summer session, but in most cases the break would consist of about five weeks rather than eight. While the calendars might differ in session times, they would both meet the federally mandated 180 days of ins... ... middle of paper ... ...l). Year-Round Schools Look Better All the Time. The Education Digest, 72(8), 56-58. Retrieved November 29, 2011, from Education Periodicals. (Document ID: 1253545861). Thomma, S. (2009). Politics. Obama Presses for Longer School Year | Seattle Times Newspaper. The Seattle Times | Seattle Times Newspaper. Retrieved December 01, 2011, from Werner, Erica. (2010, September 27). Obama: School Year Should Be Longer. Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post. Retrieved December 01, 2011, from UBIÑAS, L. A., & GABRIELI, C. (2011, August 22). Shortchanged by the Bell. New York Times. Retrieved November 30, 2011, from

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