Shorter summer vs. longer breaks

Is a year-round school year worth it?

October 6, 2022

Throughout America, some school districts have changed the way the school year looks. Instead of the traditional August to May school year, with three months of summer off, they are instead making their school years year-round, with more breaks throughout to make up for the lack of summer vacation.

 

Benefits

When students hear the phrase “year-round school”, typically the reaction is overwhelmingly negative. However, this phrase is misleading, as year-round school doesn’t actually insinuate the loss of summer vacation, but an increase in the number of breaks spread out throughout the year. In other words, the overall days in school would not change by converting to year-round school; the days off would just be more evenly distributed as opposed to being concentrated in a 3 month long summer vacation.

Converting to year-round school would mean students better retain information learned before summer break and burn out less during the academic year.

Summer learning loss, also known as “summer slide”, is a common occurrence where students lose some of the academic progress they made in the previous year. This tendency is especially prevalent for students in lower income families who don’t have access to an abundance of learning resources and expensive summer camps designed to help keep students’ minds stimulated over the long break. If summer break was shorter, there would be a greater opportunity for students to remember the information they learned in the previous school year, so teachers wouldn’t have to spend as much time reviewing old content.

A shorter summer break would also help prevent academic burnout by providing more breaks for students spaced out throughout the school year. Long stretches of school without substantial breaks can lead to students getting tired, stressed, and frustrated with the piles of homework and lack of free time, especially for those involved in demanding extracurricular activities. By spreading out the time taken off of summer break to the shorter breaks sprinkled throughout the year, students will have more time to rest and recover between stretches of school time, thus reducing the possibility of burnout.

Many schools around the country are already adopting this style of academic calendar, and for good reason. Students and teachers alike would benefit from the change, as it would be easier to remember content learned before summer and fall back into a school routine so that teachers don’t have to waste precious class time on review. Tired students would also benefit from the less sparse breaks throughout the year. While it may seem an unconventional change to the classic American school year, the benefits of adopting year-round school outweigh the detriments. 

About the Writer
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Maggie Volpi, Staff reporter

Hello! I'm Maggie, and this year I'm a staffer for BluePrint. Last year I was in the intro to journalism class so you might've seen a few of my stories...

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Drawbacks

Some students like year-round school because they like to work and learn new things; however, most of the student body at many schools would agree that year-round school sounds draining, busy and overall, overwhelming. 

Having year-round school makes it so teens cannot have summer jobs to earn money to have fun, spend, or save up for the future. Some students help provide for their families, and their summer job could be the primary source of income for their families. When the school year only allows them to get a four-week summer, they can’t go out looking for jobs because they don’t have the entire summer off; kids in sports and clubs especially don’t have that freedom when the school year comes back around. 

Not only does it affect that kid, but year-round school can affect a whole family in need. Some families struggle to get their children to school during the school year, and summer allows them to rest and take a break from that stress. It’s easier to have the same schedule for all the kids, so it’s more accessible for the parents to work around the gaps. But starting school so early causes stress and anxiety.

While some people like all the extended breaks over the year, it is not that great. Schools that don’t do year-round school also get breaks that might not be as long but are still plenty of time for a brain break. While schools that run classes year-round only get an extra week or half a week, which isn’t worth it considering that those schools go back to school weeks or even months before other schools do. 

As it affects the students, it also affects the teachers significantly, like how they work five days a week for almost a full day. Sometimes the summer is the only time they get to see their families and other relatives. Doing year-round school takes those opportunities away from them and ultimately isn’t worth it. And most teachers take other short-term jobs as another way of income on top of the teacher salary, and when there is only time for them to take one job as a teacher, it affects how they live.

About the Writer
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Morgan Gore, Staff reporter

Heyyyyyy!!!!! My name is Morgan Gore and this is my 3rd year on the newspaper staff. I like to hang out with friends, Play board games with my family,...

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