Why is year should schooling an important topic? Well, it’s important because school is one thing that has globally been the most important factors of our lives. The battle between traditional and year round schooling has been in effect for a very long time. Now with the competition of other countries academically, more and more people are thinking year round schooling is something we should consider.
History of Year Round Schooling. Year round schooling in the U.S dates back to the 1800’s. It was mainly used to teach children immigrants English. By the 1900’s, its main goal was to combat many of the problems present today such as overcrowding, funding shortage and improving the education process. However, it failed for the many reasons why it’s still failing today, disrupts family time, there wasn’t an increase in academic benefit and it can end up saving the school little money or even costing more than traditional schooling.
What most people don’t know about year round schooling is that they attend school the same number of days as we do in traditional schools which is 180 days. However, instead of having a three month summer vacation, they have several short vacations during the year.
The year round schooling calendar has many different options on what days to have on and what days to have off. The different options are 45 days on and 15 days off, 60 days on and 15 days off, 60 days on and 20 days of or 90 days on and 30 days off. The most popular option is the 45 days on and 15 days off and most schools use that method. With this year round schooling also have to figure out what holidays will be off and how long their breaks will be for.
Here is the traditional calendar that the majority of the United States Uses. As you can see, we have the 60 days off for summer. The problem that most people have with this calendar is how much time we get off for summer break. However, people also have a problem with the amount of time we go without having no break, for example the 70 days of learning.
Now this is a year round calendar on the most popular, 45-15 day schedule. As you can see, this one is actually a little more balanced and pleasing to the eye. They have the same breaks as us but also included a fall break and a longer spring break. However, the time off for the summer is one a month.
With year round schooling, there is also something called tracking. Year round schools either operate on a single track or multi-track system. Tracks are students divided into groups that share the same schedule rotation. Schools who operate on multi-tracking can have up to five tracks at one time.
To understand single tracking and multi-tracking, here is the difference between the two. With single tracking all students attend school at the same time and go on vacation at the time. Most people who recommend year round schooling says the single track system works best. Multi-tracking is when a percentage of students are in school, while some are on vacation. For example is there 4 tracks at an year round school, only three tracks will attending school at one time while the other track is on break. Multi-tracking allows the school to hold more students than it regularly could hold. It also requires extensive planning and can be challenging for some to get used too.
This school has three tracks which are separated into A, B, and C. Tracks B and C start on the same day in July. Then, in September Track A begins while Track B goes on break. In the middle of October Track B comes back and Track C goes on Break. They Still have Thanksgiving and Winter Break but notice for Thanksgiving break, they don’t get the day before off. They only get the day of Thanksgiving and day after. Then in January, Track B and C return while Track A stays on break. Also, on the 5 th of January Second semester begins for Track B and C. In February, Track A comes back and Track B goes on break. In March, Second semester begins for Track A. In April Track C has their last day of school while Track B returns from break. Then in June, Track A and B have their last day of school. It is interesting to note that Tracks B and C both started on the same day in July but ended up getting out at different times because of the different breaks they have.
Most of the year round schools that I found through research are in the west coast part of the country especially in California. There were also a lot found in North Carolina. Some examples Theodore Roosevelt High School which runs on a multi-track system. Wilburn Year Round Elementary School which runs on a multi track system. Southeast Raleigh High Magnet which runs on a single track system. Centennial Campus Middle Magnet which run on a single track system and Durant Road Middle year round which runs on a multi-track system.
Pro’s and Con’s of Year Round of Schooling for students. The pro’s are they can benefit from a more continuous learning pattern because there is no long summer break. There will be reduced need for reviewing. Students feel more motivated about school. During the breaks, the schools offer remediation programs for students to get help or for students to get ahead. It also increases student retention. The Con’s are sometimes students don’t get to voice their opinion about year round schooling and when using multi-tracks, they may not be on the same track as their friends or family. Therefore, they wouldn’t see them that much.
Pros and Cons of year round schooling for teacher. Pros: The teachers experience less burnout and fatigue. They are less absent from school. Spend less time reviewing material they have already taught. They can also earn extra income by reviewing and helping students during the breaks. The cons are: sometimes there is not enough time to prepare in between classes when on a multi-track schedule. If the teacher wants to continue their own education, it may be more difficult because they have less time. Also, with multi-tracking everything is stored into carts while on break and when you come back, they have to set up again. Some teachers just don’t like the multi-track schedule.
Pros and cons for the school. Pros: Allows school to enroll more students than the building could regularly fit. The school experiences less vandalism because there are no long summer breaks. It also saves the districts money by not building onto the school. For example, according to Education World, California saved almost $4 Billion when it switched to year round multi track schooling. The cons are: the school experiences more ware and tear and always seems dirty because there is less time for large scale cleaning. The initial cost of setting up a year round school is high because extra storage space will be needed, longer use of air conditional and more renovations need to be done more frequently. The scheduling process is difficult especially with multiple tracks. Also, with multi-tracks everything will have to be done twice such as parent conferences and picture days.
The Pros and Cons of Year round schooling for families and the community. Pros: Allows family to take vacations at times that are less crowded and have lower rates. Parents will only have to worry about getting child care for shorter periods of time. Cons: Students in the same house hold may be on different tracks. In some districts, the elementary is on year round and the high school is not. Therefore, day care for younger students is harder to plan.
Future of year round schooling. Many people around the United States are now thinking year round schooling is the way to go. Most people who have tried year round schooling says it has a positive impact and it’s the way to go. As said earlier, most people who are familiar with year long schooling recommended single tracking over multi-tracking. Year round schooling adds 40 extra days of school that is lost during the summer.
There are many things to think about before implementing a year round school schedule. First find out as much information about year round schooling such as the pros and the cons and they will relate to your district. Also be sure to visit schools with year round education. Next, include all necessary people in the decision making process such as teachers, parents, students, staff and the community. Keep them informed to try to minimize conflict. Get the support of teachers. If they are not in favor of the decision, there is little probability that it will be successful. Figure out what schedule will be used for your district. For example, how many days will be on and off, if there will be a single track or multi track and how many holidays are during the year. Provide time for staff development. The implement of this schedule will require big changes from logistics to the pacing of classes and teachers will need time to plan. Do not rush into making this change, make the transition slow. It will take time for everything to be complete.
Year round schooling legal problems: Year round schools in wake county of North Carolina ended up in supreme court. This issue was if the school board can force student to attend year round schools without parental permission. However, parents didn’t want it because there was under enrollment in year long schools and over enrollment in traditional schools. A decision has not yet been made but until one is, the school will have to give students an option.
Conclusion: Year round schooling against traditional schooling will be an on going argument. The bottom line is, something different works for every school district. Year round schooling may right for one district but wrong for another. From the article Education World, Principal Hazel Comeback of Nautilus Elementary School in Arizona says, “If If our country began on a year round schedule, it would of seemed bizarre to propose the summer-off schedule as a way to educate students.”
SHOULD SCHOOL BE YEAR ROUND? By: Witney Withers October 29, 2009 Education in Technology Dr. Dirkin
Students in year round schooling attend school for the same number of days as students on traditional calendars which is 180 days. However, instead on one long vacation they have several short vacations.
All students attend school and go on vacation at the same time.
Most people who are familiar with Year Round Schooling recommend single tracking
Percentage of students are on vacation at a time, while others are in school.
Allows the school to hold more students that it regularly could hold.
Requires extensive planning and can be challenging for some to get used too.
EXAMPLE OF A MULTI-TRACK CALENDAR FROM THEODORE ROOSEVELT HIGH SCHOOL 7/1/08 First Day of Classes (Tracks B,C) 9/2/08 First Day of Classes (Track A) (Track B Break) 10/24/08 Track B-back Track C Break 11/27-11/28/08 (Thanksgiving Break) 12/24/08-1/2/09 Winter Break 1/2/09 Track B, C Return Track A Break 1/5/09 Second Semester Begins (Track B,C) 1/19/09 Martin Luther King B-day (No School) 2/16/09 Presidents Day (No School) 2/27/09 Track A back Track B Break 3/3/09 Second Semester Begins (Track A) 4/29/08 Last day of school (Track C) Track B back 6/30/09 Last Day of school (Track A, B)
Whether school is taught in a traditional way or on a Year Round calendar is something will be an on going argument.
The bottom line is something different works for every school district.
Year Round Schooling may be right for one district but wrong for another one.
From the article Education World, Principal Hazel Colebank of Nautilus Elementary School in Arizona says, “If our country began on a year round schedule, it would of seemed bizarre to propose the summer-off schedule as a way to educate students.”