Year-Round School

Do you think Salem should have year-round school?

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According to the Virginia Administrative Code, in Section 8, Chapter 131, all schools in Virginia must hold 180 school days in a year. That’s roughly nine months of sitting in a cold, hard desk listening to a lecture of who knows what. Imagine, instead of having nine months of school, and three months of a relaxing summer vacation, you stretch those 180 school days in one year with only a couple of weeks of break in between. Behold, this is the idea of year-round school.

So, what is a year-round school? The name is pretty straight forward, it’s school all year round. Instead of having nine straight months of school with a couple of seasonal breaks, you have school days and break days set up in a ratio. An example of this, as well as a popular choice, is the 45-15 plan.  Taken from the National Education Association, ” … students attend school for 45 days and then get three weeks (15 days) off. The usual holiday breaks are still built into this calendar. ” Basically, students will get 45 days and then 15 days of break. Now with this, it seems like year-round school isn’t so bad. So, what’s so wrong about it?

For starters, students will have less time to spend with families during vacations. Some students’ parents may have to work long hours and don’t get to see their families often. Summer vacation allows families to spend quality time with each other as parents can plan a long and fun vacation to remember. One could argue that parents can plan vacations during the built-in breaks schools have provided. However, work plans can get cause parents to work overtime, which in turn limits the amount of time for vacations. 

Another thing to consider is the amount of stress put on students. Each student has their own personal life they also have to deal with besides school. Examples are part-time jobs, family issues, and social life. The built-in breaks may not enough to give students to distress and give themselves a mental break. Having the feeling of an everlasting summer gives students a mental break they get to feel during the break.

Finally, year-round school schedules the same amount of school days as our nine-month teaching plan. As mentioned, students who attend year-round school and a nine-month based school both get 180 days of educational learning, according to Virginia’s law. So why would we have to change the structure of the school plan that has been around for decades? Some might say that year-round school gives more intense learning or teaches for longer. However, students aren’t necessarily learning longer day-wise but may have longer hours during a day. As for more intense learning, having too intensive work can cause stress more often. So what’re some ways that parents can give more enrichment learning to students during the summer? A few options could be hiring a tutor or signing up for a couple of online programs. But, students have to want to learn to get better and learn more on there own. 

If you would like to take part in a quick one-question survey about year-round school, just answer the question above this story . So, do you think schools should year-round school; should Salem have year-round school?

 

Sources:

https://law.lis.virginia.gov/admincode/title8/agency20/chapter131/section150/

http://www.nea.org/tools/17057.htm