An introduction to the positive impact of year round education by Abigail Rush
Education is extremely important in America today. This is something that has been discussed a million times (hyperbole). It is not only important that every child gets an education, but it is important that every child receives a good education, and an education they are able to retain. America’s education system has been struggling to keep up with other countries that are far surpassing our highest scores. We seem to be behind, yet we have many more resources than other countries. It seems strange that we are not able to compete at the level that other large countries are competing at. One of the main reasons for this issue is that we offer an elementary school through high school education to any individual who wants it. Even though we offer this, we need to find a way to be able to step up to the plate and be noticed for our education. The solution to this problem is year round schooling. Year round schooling can solve several of the education problems that America suffers from and improve the rankings in education that it currently holds.
Year round schooling is very different from a traditional education stand point. It is an alternative education style that splits up the typical three-month summer with various smaller breaks throughout the school year. A traditional school calendar has children attending school on a nine-month schedule where the students attend classes for nine months and then get a three month break typically somewhere between May and September. This form of education’s effectivity is dwindling. In a year round education plan, students are still allotted the same amount of time off from school but it is broken up in shorter more frequent breaks. Students will also still have their holiday vacations as well as the occasional Monday off of school for holidays like Labor Day and Martin Luther King Jr. day. This plan forever dismisses the oh so beloved idea of a summer break. While many students may seem to dislike it at first, it does not change anything besides the fact that their break is not one long chunk any more. This system is not used very widely across America yet, but it is becoming more prominent. It seems as though education is drifting further from tradition, so moving the school calendar shouldn’t be a huge issue. There are a variety of different types of year round education systems that can be implemented. The different types are called tracks. The most used track has a 60/20 calendar. A 60/20 calendar has 60 days of school with a 20-day vacation period. Another common calendar is a 45/15 calendar. Having a short 20 or 15 day vacation is the perfect amount of time for a break from school.
The most important reason to change the traditional school year calendar with the year round education calendar because it increases the retention rate. With a long summer break, students have the ability to forget a larger portion of what they learned in the previous schooling year. This is a huge issue because then teachers have to spend at least five to six weeks re-teaching the concepts learned in the last grade level (Klein). This is very problematic because it looses a large chunk of time and energy that should be asserted into learning new material. This a cycle that repeats itself each year. Year round schooling can completely cut this time out and allow teachers to spend less time reviewing and more time on the new important topics.
This is especially ground breaking and effective for low income families. Often times, these low income families can not afford to send their children off to camps and summer tutoring sessions which causes their children to suffer. Families who can send their children to these creative outlets are greatly impacting their children because there is reinforcement throughout the summer and the children are not as behind when the next school year hits. This phenomenon is called “summer slide”. Year round schooling could greatly impact areas of low income because by keeping the children in school will help them retain the information they have learned.
Another positive effect of year round education is that It can expand the maximum capacity of a school, especially on a tight budget. For example, if a school with a maximum capacity of 1,000 uses a four-track system, it could enroll 333 more students. That’s 33% more in the school. Typically, four-track plans can increase capacity by 25 percent.
Even though year round education solves these problems, there are some negative aspects. These include the costs to keep the school running all year long, the costs of transportation and pay increases for teachers, and athletics because it s hard to schedule games due to students being on different tracks. All of these problems are easily fixed if year round education becomes a more collective movement, but are serious problems at this moment.
Over all, year round education is a much better calendar than the traditional school calendar. By looking at the pros and cons you can see that even though it might take some adjusting, it can be extremely beneficial for the American education system. Teachers will have more time to teach and help students grow instead of having to reteach them previously learned material. Year round education can greatly improve the education system in America.
Klein, Rebecca. “Summer Learning Loss Study: Can ‘Summer Slide’ Be Prevented?” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com. Web. 20 Nov. 2015.