Are you an advocate of increasing the length of the school year? Seems like we may be one of the only countries that give our students and teachers so much time off. Wonder why we do it since the reasons for taking the summer off (i.e. farm work and no a/c in hot weather) no longer exist. Consider these points from the Year Round School Wiki:
- 3,181 public schools in the United States today are on a year-round schedule.
- Of the 2.3 million students enrolled in year round schools during the 2002-03 school year, 60% attend schools in California.
- Year-round schooling has been present from the 1800s to the present first appearing in urban areas, because they were not tied to the agriculture cycle
- The single track schedule is the most prominent of the three types. These schools do not add additional days to their school year, but instead they incorporate shorter breaks throughout the year.
- A multitrack schedule divides students into multiple tracks so that one group goes to school while another group takes vacation.
- The extended year schedule can act as either a single track or multitrack, but it adds 15 to 20 days to the total school year. President of the United States Barack Obama has called for school administrations to lengthen school years in order to compete with students worldwide.
- Students who attend year-round school say that their calendars are more balanced than their peers who have a typical school calendar.
- Students who attend year-round schools typically do as well as or slightly better in school than their peers who attend a traditionally scheduled school.
- Studies show that even though around 50% of parents are in favor of the year-round schedule before it is implemented, almost 80% are in favor of it after the first year.
- If schools are open for longer the operating and maintenance costs may increase up to 10 percent.
- Research suggests year-round schools have positive effects on students who are at risk for academic problems, including those from underprivileged backgrounds and those who are poor performers in school.
- Students with attention learning disabilities may experience difficulties with longer school days.
- Younger elementary students who are not psychologically fully developed may not see any additional benefit to extended days.
- Students that attend year round schooling may miss out on experiences such as summer camps.
- Many people argue that students get bored during summer vacations, when there is much less activity and stimulation, so attending school for a year would be a benefit to them.
"Year-round school would be changing the American custom of summer vacation, which would not be easy to do. Changing a people’s customs is never an easy thing to do and normally takes time for a population to adjust or take to a change in a major custom."What do you think? Will America ever embrace having school all year? Is it just too hard for us to change our ways?