Back to School at FamilyEducation.com
|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Year-Round School

Education Expert Advice from Peggy Gisler, Ed.S. and Marge Eberts, Ed.S.

Q: What are the advantages and disadvantages of year-round school? How would year-round school affect and alter students' success?

A: It's important to understand that most students in year-round schools attend school the same number of days (usually 180) as students in traditional nine-month schools. So for most students, there is not the advantage of additional time in the classroom.

What's different about year-round schools is that the days are arranged differently. Instead of the traditional nine months of school and long summer vacation, the students have several short vacations all through the year.

A few year-round schools have all their students on the same schedule. However, in most year-round schools, the students are divided into different instructional and vacation tracks. These tracks are arranged so that there is always one group of students on vacation.

The major benefit of year-round education is that it facilitates continuous learning as the students are not ever out of school for a long period of time. As a result, the students forget less over the shorter breaks, and teachers spend less time reviewing pre-vacation material. Another real benefit of year-round education is that schools can offer an extra session of remedial and enrichment classes to some of the students between sessions.

Most school districts choose year-round schooling as a cost-cutting measure. For example, with one group of students always on vacation, a school that was built for 750 students can serve as many as 1,000. This lets school districts with little or no money for building new schools handle a growing student population and save millions of dollars in construction costs. Furthermore, although the cost of operating a year-round program is more expensive, there is a reduction in per-pupil costs.

As far as achievement goes, the results are mixed and inconclusive. However, students in year-round schools that have everyone on the same track have shown improved achievement scores over those in traditional schools.

Overall, students, parents, and teachers generally have positive attitudes toward year-round schooling over time. Disadvantages include the inconvenience to families with children who are in both traditional and year-round schools and the complications of child care and vacation plans.

More on: Expert Advice

Peggy Gisler and Marge Eberts are experienced teachers who have more than 60 educational publications to their credit. They began writing books together in 1979. Careers for Bookworms was a Book-of-the-Month Club paperback selection, and Pancakes, Crackers, and Pizza received recognition from the Children's Reading Roundtable. Gisler and Eberts taught in classrooms from kindergarten through graduate school. Both have been supervisors at the Butler University Reading Center.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Handwriting Headquarters
We've got handwriting practice worksheets, handwriting tips, and answers to your child's writing struggles, just in time for back to school. Brought to you by BIC.

11 Coolest Lunch Boxes for Kids
Send your child's lunch to school in style! Check out our picks for the 11 best lunch boxes with great features from BPA-free accessories to spill-resistant fabric.

7 Important Back-to-School Safety Tips
Follow these back-to-school safety tips to make sure your child stays safe on the way to school, in the classroom, and while on the playground.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!