--Original published at Miguel's College Blog
Year-round education has been a topic of conversation with parents, teachers, and students alike. What are the benefits and disadvantages of having, or not having year-round education? What is year-round education?
Year-round education is when a school’s education schedule is a couple weeks of teaching material, followed with a couple weeks off throughout the entire year. A common year-round schedule is a 45-15 plan, where teaching is done for 45 days, then three weeks off for the student. The traditional school schedule is laid out to leave three months of space in the summer for students to have a break. Interestingly enough, the year-round schedule has the same 180 days of school as the traditional schedule.
What are the benefits of having a year-round schedule?
Supporters of the year-round schedule say that having school throughout the entire year stops the dreaded “brain drain” of summer, forgetting a large amount of knowledge and skills acquired during the traditional schedule school year. After a long summer break, teachers spend the first couple of weeks having to re-acclimate students to learning and trying to find out what information students have remembered before starting new material. This could take away extra time from learning new material.
Another benefit of having a year-round schedule is that students are kept occupied throughout the entire year. Traditional school schedule allows for the summer break to be a time where students are offered a break and to enjoy the outside weather, however, as social media and technology dependency increases, more students are using their free time inside on devices. The summer break has turned into an empty time for students to reduce their learning to a minimum. Having a year-round schedule would keep students occupied and mentally stimulated throughout the year, while still offering needed breaks for recovery.
What are the disadvantages of having a year-round schedule?
Opponents of having a year-round schedule say that having a year-round schedule could be more expensive as facilities are constantly running throughout the year (a small sacrifice for fostering more education in the summer). Also, having a year-round schedule may rule out the opportunity for faculty to offer summer remediation classes for students who may need it or are lagging behind academically. Having classes held throughout the year may be too fast for some students and may not have the opportunity during the summer to catch up.
Another disadvantage may be that parents are likely to feel the change the most in year-round schedules. Parents who have children in different schools on different schedules are sure to run into problems for transportation, vacations, and extracurricular activities.
I think having year-round schooling would be a great change for the education system, especially in public school settings and lower income areas because of the benefits for the students. From experience, many summer breaks before I was able to have a job was spent inside, not learning anything new, and I paid the price when school started up again because a tough learning curve would arise trying to review everything. Even when I worked in high school, I was still inside and not being mentally stimulated. Where I grew up, many students relied on the school cafeteria for their daily meals. Over 2/3 of the students at my high school qualified for free and reduced lunch. When the school year ended, there was 3 months of meals that were not guaranteed. Having a year-round schedule gives students the opportunity to have meals throughout the entire year and to be occupied/mentally stimulated throughout the entire year.
Lynch, M. (2016, August 13). Top 3 Reasons the US Should Switch to Year-Round Schooling. Retrieved May 1, 2018, from http://www.theedadvocate.org/top-3-reasons-the-us-should-switch-to-year-round-schooling/
Chen, G. (2018, April 06). Year Round vs. Traditional Schedules in Public Schools. Retrieved May 1, 2018, from https://www.publicschoolreview.com/blog/year-round-vs-traditional-schedule-public-schools
Lynch, M. (2016, October 27). 3 Reasons Not to Adopt Year-Round Schooling. Retrieved May 1, 2018, from http://www.theedadvocate.org/3-reasons-not-to-adopt-year-round-schooling/
Weller, C. (2017, June 05). Year-round school is booming – but its benefits are over-hyped. Retrieved May 1, 2018, from http://www.businessinsider.com/year-round-school-summer-vacation-2017-6