The Pros And Cons Of Year-Round School

children at school

Now that the end of the school year is very quickly approaching, and for many has already arrived, the topic of year round schooling is once again being brought up. While we all enjoyed those two months of freedom growing up, there has been a lot of talk about the concept of year round schooling now and how it could be beneficial to children and parents.

There are currently thousands of public schools in the US that support year round school calendars. Those calendars still provide children with the same average time in school that a traditional school calendar provides. The difference being that instead of getting two full months off for summer vacation, shorter vacation times are scattered throughout the year.

Melissa Kelly shares some of the pros and cons of year round schooling in an article on ThoughtCo, and there are compelling arguments on both sides. Fans of the year round calendar say that shorter vacations scattered throughout the school year helps kids remember more of what they've learned.

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They also argue that it uses schools year round instead of having the buildings sit empty during the summer months. Vacation time is also a bonus. Many families struggle to find care for their children during the summer, and are often limited to only taking vacations during those designated two months off. Fans of the year round school system suggest it eases the burden on families to find care for the summer months and allows them to vacation at various times in the calendar year.

Not everyone thinks year round schooling is a good idea, however. In Kelly's article she notes those who are opposed to the idea actually argue that it makes child care more difficult for parents as the time off for children is spread throughout the year.

They also argue there aren't any educational benefits conclusively proven by year round schooling. Many camps that rely on summer vacationers will suffer and kids who use summer vacation to get a summer job won't be able to do so.

Add in the stresses of extracurriculars and sports, many that take place during those summer months, and it becomes a juggling act for families. Year round schooling also relies on staggered schedules, making it difficult for some families who could have multiple children at the same school but on a different schedule.

child going to school
Credit: iStock / monkeybusinessimages

There are a lot of schools in the United States that have already adapted to the year round calendars. According to NICHE, there are just over 3,000 schools in the United States that go year round.

"It wasn’t until the 1960s that the idea of year-round education was revived when Park Elementary School in Hayward, California, became the first to implement the system since before World War II," the site states. Adding, "today, Park Elementary remains the longest-running YRE program in the United States."

There are many arguments for and against year round schooling, many pros and cons on both sides. Where do you stand?

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