Discover pros, cons of year-round schooling
September 25, 2012
While most students are experiencing the shock that accompanies the end of summer and the return to school, some are already in the middle of their school year.
Year-round schools, which replace the traditional summer break with smaller breaks spaced out around a full year of schooling, have been growing in number, and are offering a solution to many educational woes. They can be either single-track, in which all the students attend school at the same time, or multitrack, in which different groups of students attend the same school during different times.
Opinions on both types of schools are divided.
- Students on a year-round schedule have a more positive attitude toward school.
- Multitrack schools are more cost-effective than building new schools when dealing with large numbers of students.
- A longer year gives at-risk students more time to get help.
- Businesses hiring students part time get applications more evenly throughout the year, instead of just during summer.
- The year-round schedule offers more varied times for families to vacation.
- School maintenance costs, such as day-to-day upkeep and utilities, will increase if schools are open longer.
- Behavioral issues in the classroom may increase, because students are not accustomed to or developmentally ready to maintain focus and attend for longer periods of time.
- Teens who need to work and make money will have a harder time finding and holding down jobs.
- Schools already struggle to find money for high quality teachers; making this a year-round cost would not be realistic.
- Students would miss out on opportunities to hang out with other kids and learn about things outside the school setting, such as summer camp, family trips and other summer experiences that help shape kids.
While the number of year-round schools is increasing, traditional schools still vastly outnumber them, and there is not yet a definite sign as to whether or not this will change.
As of yet, there has not been a significant nationwide push for year-round schooling, and it remains to be seen whether year-round schooling is the future of American education.