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Year Round Education and the Summer Slide
Transcript of Year Round Education and the Summer Slide
Schools have several options for schedules including the 45/15 and the 60/20 plan.
Ask any student if they enjoy their summer break, and they will most likely say yes. But ask them why they have it, and not so many will be able to answer that question. The answer to why we have summer vacations today is not particularly easy to find, mostly because there really is not a valid reason. 200 years ago students went to school primarily during the winter and summer, allowing them to be home during the spring and summer which were the busiest times of the year on farms.
Extending the School Year
Relying on Parents to Add Enrichment to their Children's Summer.
Extending the school day
Adding more than one track to a school can have several benefits, most of them being financial. The different tracks can allow a school to increase its seating capacity by up to 25%.
What would it mean to have a year- round school Calendar?
This would mean adding hours to the school day, which would require the district to pay teachers more money. They would also have less time to plan lessons and to grade homework. Though this specific solution may not have a direct effect on the summer slide, it has the potential to improve student performance which may make up for the loss anyways. Another possible benefit is that it can help keep students out of trouble, and keep them focused on productive things. Despite some of these positive things, districts would be forced to pay more per student than before and there would be significantly less time for building maintenance and extracurricular activities. Though they may not seem too important, these activities can be the difference between a student making it into their desired college, or not.
Using this type of solution, the school district would be adding to the required amount of learning days. These extra days would come from the days in summer vacation. The reason that this solution is out there, is because it solves the learning loss problem by simply taking away some of the break time. This is also important to consider when you look at other countries around the world which spend more time in school and are quickly passing Americas school system. One unfortunate pat of this school system is that it would require the complete support of the tax payers because this shift would rely on their willingness to pay for the maintenance of the buildings for longer periods of time. They would also have to consider that they would need to pay teachers longer as well.
Many parents try to add enrichment to summer by signing their children up for camps, or helping them read. While this is most likely the easiest solution to the problem, it is hard to enforce or to make fair for children who may not have the resources that others have.
The Summer Slide
The final solution is year round education. This would mean that students would go to school for the same amount of educational time, but the time would be broken up by smaller breaks.
In these schedules, students would be attending school for 45 or 60 days, then have 15 or 20 days of break.
However, times have changed and it is no longer necessary to have the schedule that we do. Not only is there no real reason for it, but it is causing some trouble for students. This trouble comes in the form of the "summer slide". This is the loss of information that nearly every student feels when they go back to school in the fall, and though it may not seem like a huge deal the loss can quickly add up over time.
Out of all of these possible solutions, the most logical seems to be the option of year round education.
Of course there all always going to be some concerns with change...
-families with students at different schools
Of course all possible solutions are going to have their positives and their negatives, but in my opinion this solution does the best job of balancing those while still solving the problem at hand.