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Year Round Schooling Could Be A Positive Change

1354 words - 6 pages

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 ...view middle of the document...

..] effect on achievement [...] while 27 indicated significant positive effects” (1). This shows that year-round school is at least as good as the traditional schedule in helping students learn. Year-round school also allows more time for remedial classes during the breaks, which can help students who are falling behind during the school year catch back up. This is in contrast with summer school, which only occurs after school is over and students are finished with the curriculum, making students have to start a totally new class just to catch up. Remedial classes reinforce material that is fresh in students’ minds instead of forcing them to recall something they may have learned half a year ago and probably forgotten. This once again cuts down on the time it takes to bring students up to speed with their classes.

Another important advantage for many school districts is that year-round school can enable multi-track schedules. A multi-track schedule is one in which teachers and students are divided into equally sized groups called tracks (Gerard 1). Each track attends school and has vacation at the same time, but there is always at least one track on vacation at any time (1). This is somewhat analogous to our P.E. system at Johnston High. Imagine if everyone had P.E. on the same day; we’d never be able to manage students or fit them into the gyms. This is comparable to our current summer schedule. However, students at Johnston are in different tracks and have P.E. on different days, making class sizes manageable. Similarly, the multi-track school schedule staggers the tracks and greatly helps reduce overcrowding, which allows more students to attend one school. Multi-tracking also helps reduce the cost of cooling the school during the summer. Since one school is serving far more students than its capacity, although that school uses more electricity, it eliminates the need to build and maintain another entire school. Finally, multi-tracking allows companies that rely on teenage labor during the summer to have a constant stream of workers during the day, because there is always at least one group of students on break. The advantages mentioned so far mainly help teachers, administrators, and other adults. However, year-round school also has wide support among students.

Students with both year-round and summer schedules generally support year-round school. Among the students enrolled in year-round school, most tend to like it. This is the third conclusion drawn from the studies mentioned earlier; they state that “Students, parents, and teachers who participate in a year-round school tend to have positive attitudes about the experience” (Huebner 1). Among the students who have yet to experience it, the most common complaint about it is that students have less break time than with the current system. The name suggests that school is held for the entire year, and what student wants that? However, although some year-round schedules do have more days...

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