School districts all over the country have switched to year round education programs. The 10 month system was established back in “ Little House on the Prairie” times when parents needed their children to help with harvest all summer. Those days are long gone, and today’s children are at loose ends all summer. Our education system has long been in need of updating to help our children compete globally.
How It Works
Year round systems will still generally only hold classes for 180 days a year, but the vacation times will be spread out differently. Some schools have a 45-15 plan where the students get 3 weeks off every 45 days. Others have implemented 60-20 and 90-30 plans. There are different ways of setting it up within a school as well. Multi-track schools have year round education at the school and the children in the school are ondifferent cycle,s so the kids will go on break at different times. The multi-track system allows schools to take on more students.
1. It Will Keep Kids Out of Trouble
Because almost one in five children live in households at or below the poverty level, we need to rethink the nine or ten month school year. These struggling families, where both parents are working or there is only one parent, don’t have the means to keep their children supervised during the summer. Many disadvantaged children end up bored during a long break because they aren’t going to summer camps and on family vacations. Bored kids get into trouble.
2. Kids Won’t Forget Everything They Learned
Even children with the advantages of having adult supervision all summer miss the discipline of learning over a long summer. Students tend to forget a great deal of information over the summer, so shorter breaks might increase retention rates. For those who generally end up in summer school, these programs can offer short, intensive enrichment courses during the shorter breaks. A study at Duke University found that children in the year round system have an advantage because they don’t forget what they learned while they are away on a long summer vacation.
3. Families Won’t all be Travelling at The Same Time
Short breaks would be a great opportunity to travel for families who prefer not to visit places in the heat of summer. Instead of just “summer camps” there would be opportunities for camps during other seasons, like snowboard camp. This will also help families who work in companies where previously they had to book time off well in advance for summer vacations because that is when most families had to travel,l andeveryone was vying for time off during the summer months.
4. Summer Camps and Programs Can Run All Year
The short breaks can be used for extra-curricular activities. These can be further education, activities or arts. Programs that are currently only available in the summer can now be available all year long. These organizations should be happy with this system because their facilities can be used all year long and serve many, many more students, making them much more efficient. In areas that implement the multi track system, these programs could run almost non-stop.Mark Weatherford is a high school englishteacher and avid writer who enjoys writing book reviews and summaries. He recently edited a summaryon Hamlet online.