Year Round Schooling Could be a Positive Change

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Summer vacation. For most children and teens, the phrase conjures up images of hot, sunny days and vacations with the whole family to far-off places. We all envision lazy afternoons relaxing on the beach, playing in water parks, and going on picnics. But what happens when summer ends and the reality of another year of school sinks in?

A large portion of the knowledge gained during the last school year is lost over the long idle months and must be retaught for weeks, which wastes a lot of time that could be spent learning new material. This puts students behind in that year’s curriculum, and over many summers, can add up to students being months or years behind where they would be if no learning was lost. There is a solution to this problem, however: year-round school. Year-round school provides many advantages for both students and adults over the traditional summer vacation schedule.

The most important advantage of year-round school is that it helps students retain knowledge. Learning lost during the summer is a big problem. Proponents of year-round school assert that having shorter breaks would reduce learning loss because the students couldn’t forget as much over a shorter period of time. Detractors often say that there have been no reputable studies supporting this. It is true that many studies had somewhat faulty methodologies, failing to account for other variables that could have affected performance, like socioeconomic level or level of parental education (1). However, two major meta-analyses, by Worthen and Zsiray (1994) and Cooper, Valentine, Charlton, and Melson (2003), found support for the assertion that “Students in year-round schools do as well or slightly better in terms of academic achievement than students ...

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...ities. It would also help students by keeping them engaged and focused before and after breaks. Considering all the gains to be made from year-round school, perhaps it is time to give up the long, sweltering three months of summer break and receive shorter and more frequent ones that benefit everyone in the school. I know I wouldn’t miss them.

Works Cited

Bemis, Amy E, and Elisabeth A Palmer. “Year-Round Education.” Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement. University of Minnesota, 1998. Web. 31 May 2010. PDF file.

Huebner, Tracy A. "Year-Round Schooling." Educational Leadership 67.7 (2010): 83-84. Professional Development Collection. EBSCO. Web. 27 May 2010.

St. Gerard, Vanessa. "Year-Round Schools Look Better All the Time." Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review 72.8 (2007): 56-58. ERIC. EBSCO. Web. 27 May 2010.

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