According to the National Association for Year-Round Education (NAYRE), over the past twenty years, the number of schools making the transition from the antiquated 9-month education system to a year-round program grew 441%. Traditional American schools operate on a nine month education system with a two-month long summer break. However, the long summer break causes students difficulty in retaining information, which especially impacts low income students. More and more people are promoting year round schooling, which has short but frequent vacations, as a panacea to resolve the issues related with the traditional education system. By implementing a year-round schedule schools can promote higher levels of excellence for students.
By implementing year round schooling, students are able to combat the loss of information occurring during the long summers of traditional schooling. According to a study conducted by John Hopkins University Center for Summer Learning, the extended summer vacation of traditional nine month schools causes 2.6 months of learning lost. Almost one-third of the information that teachers try to ingrain in students’ brains deteriorates since the students do not engage in educational activities. Because of this annual “summer slide,” teachers end up wasting the first two months of the school year to review and re-teach old material. This greatly impacts the remainder of the year’s curriculum since the lack of time restrains the quality and quantity of the material that the teachers can teach. Year-round schools have an advantage since their vacations usually last no longer than four weeks, a short enough time period that enables students to retain the information. When students return from these short breaks, teachers are able to pick up where they left off with little to no review. This allows teachers to cover more material and go more in depth on the various topics while still meeting state curriculum requirements. Year-round schools’ comprehensive education prepares the students for the vigorous academia of highschool and college at a much higher standard compared to the traditional schools’.
Year-round schools also have a positive effect on students who are at risk for academic problems. Many kids speaking english as their second language, dealing with learning disabilities, or coming from low income families tend to fall behind on the curriculum, increasing the learning gap between the advantaged and disadvantaged students. While 33% of students have the opportunity to enroll in educational summer programs, the other two-thirds of the teen population are at a great disadvantage. Year-round schools compensate by offering intersession programs during the vacation periods. Not only are intersession programs free of cost, benefiting economically disadvantaged students, but they also provide immediate remediation, unlike traditional schools, since year-round schools’ breaks are more frequent. Students attending traditional schools must wait until the end of the entire school year to seek academic corrective action. Through intercession all the students effectively keep up on the material taught at school.
The goal is to provide students with a sufficient enough education to thoroughly prepare them for their future and year round schooling could be the solution.