• 32°

Should school be year-round event?

When I attended grade school, I remember still celebrating the summer months until late August. I know there are some folks who are older than I am remember not starting back to school until September.

So what’s the deal? Before we know it, kids will start going to school all year long.

If I’m not mistaken, there was actually talk circling RHS at one point in time when I attended there in the early 2000s about a year-round school calendar.

I had heard back then that some school officials were looking into spreading semesters out with two to three week breaks here and there.

According to the National Association for Year-Round Education, the idea of stretching semesters is growing. Over 3,000 schools had year-round education programs in 2000.

But — despite what people around here think — attending a year-round school doesn’t necessarily mean less vacation time.

In an article posted on www.pbs.org in 2001, the traditional school-year calendar with early morning start times and two or three month summer breaks was designed when many Americans lived on a farm and families needed help from their children in the summertime.

School systems just kind of stuck with the trend and that is why many schools still have the traditional school year.

One popular reason to make the switch is some educators complaining that too much time is spent reviewing in the fall with the traditional schedule. Many students have forgotten what they learned the previous year and also many immigrant children fall behind because they are not exposed to English during the long summer breaks.

A 2007 study on year-round schooling found students who attend school all year long do not learn more than their peers in traditional nine-month schools.

A sociologist at Ohio State University found year-round schools doesn’t really solve the problem of the summer learning setback, but instead simply spread it out across the year.

The PBS article claims that year-round schooling is a misleading term; it makes many students imagine that they would have to say goodbye forever to summer traditions, such as summer camp or beach vacations.

These Days, reports show students in most American year-round school districts spend the same amount of days in class as students in traditional calendar schools — the days are just arranged differently, with smaller, more frequent breaks throughout the year.

The summer break is perhaps only a month, instead of two or three and students get a three to four week break here in there during the year to make up for the weeks taken away in the summer.

Year-round schooling continues to be controversial in almost every school district. Districts from New York to Los Angeles are experimenting with the new calendars and hoping to make positive changes to improve student performance.

Long term, it’s hard to know whether the idea will become more popular or less as parents and administrators try to figure out the best solution.

If schools around here decided to take on the year-round schedule,it would make my job a little easier in the summertime taking into consideration numerous school events that would make for interesting news stories.

But then again, if I were a student in high school I would be totally against it. I believe it would be a tough call either way.

There, I’ve said my peace. Until next time, Later Dayz…