Friday, April 15, 2016

Year-Round Schools

Are year round schools better or worse for students? Year round schools are starting to become more popular in schools across that nation. However are they better, or possibly worse? Last year there was a total of 3,181 schools that go year round in the United States. This number has increased a lot since 1987 when there was only about 1,731. Many people support the fact that school goes year round, while others think a solid two month summer break is best for children.
The differences at a glance are mostly the scheduled days, that school is and isn’t in session. Students with a normal schedule spend about forty weeks in school, middle of August until Christmas break. When students are back slightly after the first of the year, they stay in school until around Easter when they have a week off for spring break. Then another eight to ten weeks of school until they are out for summer break. Year round schools have breaks a lot more often compared to this type of traditional schooling.
There is three main calendar plans for year-round schools. There is  forty-five on/fifteen off( 45 days when school is in session and then a 15 days when it is not), sixty on/twenty off, and ninety on /thirty off. Year Round schools can also have different “tracks” that operate. This means that certain staff and student are in session while other are on break. Tracks solve the problem of overcrowding in large schools, and help them get the most out of their building.  
Some of the pro’s of year round schooling is that children don’t lose knowledge over the long summer break, a.k.a “The Summer Slide.” By eliminating the long summer break you can prevent the “The Summer Slide.” This also eliminates the need to reteach material in the fall, most teachers spend four to six week reteaching old material before they get to the new material Dropout rates are also three percent lower in year round schools compared to normal scheduled schools. The buildings that are used by year round schools are always being used and have constant use. The period of time that they are in school (six-eight weeks) the students  can focus on one main unit, and really get to know it without any interruptions. Having this kind of schedule provides a short break in between large units, so that kids don’t bored of sitting in a classroom.
While the schedule can work in great ways it also can be the biggest con. Childcare is hard to find, imagine finding a full time babysitter for only two weeks every six weeks. Family vacations, camps, and reunions are all normally planned in the summer. However when you are going to school in the summer it can be hard to set dates or attend these things.
Some other cons include having children in the same family on different tracks. In schools that have different tracks for students kids in the same family can be put into different ones. This means that one kid might be in school when the other two aren’t. This can create a lot of problems for parents.
Cost can always an issue in schools, year round schools tend to be a little more expensive than traditional schools. The cost of year round schools can also be an issue. Keeping the building running all year is costly. Lunches and bus drivers year round can get costly to.  The year round school would be ordering food off and on all year round . Bus drivers have a job for six weeks and then they don’t for two, some people don’t like that kind of work schedule.  
Athletics in year round school are the same as in normal schools. They still run normal high school seasons, which means football would still be in the fall and track  would still be in the spring. Practices and games could be hard to schuele, between others schools  that are or aren’t in session the same time as a year-round school. A plus side is that you could have practice during the day when school was not in session.
Year round schools are not something that is new to the United States. Year round schools  used to be very common in the United States. During the 1800’s when immigration was popular, year round schools purpose for opening was  to teach immigrant children how to speak English. Then during the early 1900’s year round school’s purpose changed, it now was used to fight overcrowding and underfunding for schools. In Bluffton, Indiana, one of their schools started the four quarter program.
The four quarter program meant four shorter learning periods with smaller breaks in between.  This program became very popular until World War II, then children  had to work on farms or in factories to support the war effort. Year round school didn’t really show up again until the 1960’s when Park Elementary School in Hayward, California, became a year round school. It is now the oldest year-round school, and is still in use today.
Now that you have heard the pros and cons of year round school, would you switch? Would you like going to school in the summer or does the thought of sitting at a desk in the nice weather make you angry? Whether you go to a traditional school or year round school, you are still getting an education which is important.

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