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Why shouldn't schools in the US be open all year?

  • Joined 6/9/02
  • 5063

Larry brought up an interesting point in the What should everyone learn thread. He said that there was no way that schools in the US could remain open all year. Why or why not? I've long believed that the students and teachers would benefit from year round school. And I think it would be easier on parents as they wouldn't have to find day care for the summer.

What are your thoughts?

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  • Joined 2/25/00
  • 13233
  • Post #1
  • Originally posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 (9 years ago)

Here are my thoughts on why we don't see more year-round schools:

1) It eliminates one of the "perks" of being a teacher - the ability to take the summer off and be a house painter in order to maintain a living wage

and

2) It would completely destroy several industries, including summer camps, swimming pools, and Little League.

We are the keepers of Funny, the Judges, the Whisperers. We are Superior Naysayers And Rebukers of Knavery. We are SNARK. - Boosh!

  • Joined 5/29/01
  • 4148
  • Post #2
  • Originally posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 (9 years ago)

When I was in school in Korea we went to school year round. I think it was better - it kept me focused more on school. Not only that, I think it's beneficial because there isn't a large break, and enables students to focus more.

Teaching K-12 I think is the only career in the US that gives 3 months of vacation a year as well...

  • Joined 1/16/01
  • 12597
  • Post #3
  • Originally posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 (9 years ago)

You forgot college professors. And there's no way colleges will go year round. They make too much extra money on summer school programs and professors need the summers to go off to the Galapagos islands or whatever to do research. My father uses the time to write materials for publication.

  • Joined 1/5/03
  • 3849
  • Post #4
  • Originally posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 (9 years ago)

It'll never happen, but from an educational standpoint, most students would benefit from year round schooling AND from starting a second language in first grade, when their brains are still open to it, rather than waiting until High School, when they are past the critical age of language aquisition.

Alot of International Schools have two week breaks in winter, spring, and summer, and have 3 day weekends or no school on Wednesdays. I'm a big fan. As a teacher, I wouldn't mind losing the summer off if I didn't have to waste september and october getting the kids all caught up again. Argh.

  • Joined 1/15/01
  • 3235
  • Post #5
  • Originally posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 (9 years ago)

I think year-round schooling is a bad idea.

Some of the most valuable education I ever received wasn't "education" in a pure sense at all; it was summer camp and summer theatre programs. Kids learn so many valuable social lessons in summer camp settings, and summer arts and music programs allow those who may not excel in school to focus on and nurture what they really enjoy.

Furthermore, research has shown that kids today are already overstressed and overscheduled; why not give them time to relax and enjoy their childhood?

  • Joined 11/26/04
  • 380
  • Post #6
  • Originally posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 (9 years ago)
Quoted from "SwingKitten"
I think year-round schooling is a bad idea. Some of the most valuable education I ever received wasn't "education" in a pure sense at all; it was summer camp and summer theatre programs. Kids learn so many valuable social lessons in summer camp settings, and summer arts and music programs allow those who may not excel in school to focus on and nurture what they really enjoy.

I think this is possible to do in a year-round school that has arts programs or intense "activity" semesters where you focus on one thing (theater, dance, kayaking, whatever). I know some girls who had a four week session where all they did was dance. COOL! I also went on a one-week science camp with my class in six grade. This was required of all sixth grade students in my area. It was a blast, and you learned a ton from direct experience. A week long field trip!

Of course, opening these sorts of opportunities to all children would be very expensive. For right now, those kids whose parents can afford those sorts of programs will be the ones who get those experiences (or the ones who get scholarships).

The organization I work for runs a free summer camp for kids who could not afford camp otherwise. The only problem is we wish we could accomodate more kids.

  • Joined 5/29/01
  • 4148
  • Post #7
  • Originally posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 (9 years ago)

I think from a social standpoint you have a great point. But from a purely educational standpoint I think longer breaks are a detriment to the learning system.

I think it's also a matter of discipline, which goes back to parenting. Different thread though.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,591-1392446,00.html is an interesting read on smart kids around the globe.

  • Joined 8/4/00
  • 3324
  • Post #8
  • Originally posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 (9 years ago)

My sister and brother in law are school teachers in England. Their system is interesting schedule-wise. They get more 1 week breaks during the year - usually at end of terms (fall, winter, and spring), and about 3 weeks off over Christmas. Then summer break is only about 6 weeks long (early July to the end of August). My sister likes teaching in this schedule much better. Plus they get many more 3 day weekends then we do for those random "Bank Holiday" (which I have never understoood. Why the hell banks need holidays is beyond me...). The kids still get their downtime, and it also gives families for time during the of the year to do things. As the kids get older (late high school age), these 1 week breaks are essential work catch-up times/exam study times necessary when they are preparing for their "O" level/graduating exams.

Swingkitten's point about the value of summer activities is great. But a huge part of our society's kids don't get these "luxuries" of summer camp/ arts programs/learning vacations due mostly to economic factors. It would be great if they did as there is incredible value in that. I like the idea of have 1 term a year that was more elective based.

  • Joined 1/15/01
  • 3235
  • Post #9
  • Originally posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 (9 years ago)
Quoted from "saracynthia"
I think this is possible to do in a year-round school that has arts programs or intense "activity" semesters where you focus on one thing (theater, dance, kayaking, whatever). I know some girls who had a four week session where all they did was dance. COOL! I also went on a one-week science camp with my class in six grade. This was required of all sixth grade students in my area. It was a blast, and you learned a ton from direct experience. A week long field trip!

That's a great idea; however, I can't see it happening in public schools. There are plenty of killjoys out there who don't think it's necessary (or even deem it harmful!) for their kids to be educated in the arts and culture. Can you imagine a four-week session in dance education going over well in a school in rural Alabama?

You're right, it's unfair that privileged kids are the ones getting the opportunity to go to camp and summer programs. But my camp experiences happened when my parents' financial circumstances weren't great; I went on scholarship. My summer theatre program had plenty of financial assistance available to those who couldn't afford tuition. I understand that this may not be the case across the rest of the country; I was fortunate enough to grow up in an area that nurtured the arts. Furthermore, some of the other summer arts programs that my friends benefited from (NYSSSA, or New York State Summer School for the Arts) are subsidized by the state at least to some degree, and I believe that full scholarships are available. Assistance is out there if you look for it, but unfortunately many parents just don't care enough about this type of education to make the effort.

  • Joined 9/24/99
  • 3713
  • Post #10
  • Originally posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 (9 years ago)
Quoted from "One Skirt Wonder"
My sister and brother in law are school teachers in England. Their system is interesting schedule-wise. They get more 1 week breaks during the year - usually at end of terms (fall, winter, and spring), and about 3 weeks off over Christmas. Then summer break is only about 6 weeks long (early July to the end of August). My sister likes teaching in this schedule much better. Plus they get many more 3 day weekends then we do for those random "Bank Holiday" (which I have never understoood. Why the hell banks need holidays is beyond me...). The kids still get their downtime, and it also gives families for time during the of the year to do things. As the kids get older (late high school age), these 1 week breaks are essential work catch-up times/exam study times necessary when they are preparing for their "O" level/graduating exams. Swingkitten's point about the value of summer activities is great. But a huge part of our society's kids don't get these "luxuries" of summer camp/ arts programs/learning vacations due mostly to economic factors. It would be great if they did as there is incredible value in that. I like the idea of have 1 term a year that was more elective based.

I think "year round school" is a misnomer. They still get close to the same amount of time off, it's just that it's spread out differently. The breaks are shorter (2 week stretches at the longest), but a tad more frequent.

  • Joined 3/21/04
  • 3125
  • Post #11
  • Originally posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 (9 years ago)
Quoted from "SwingKitten"
Can you imagine a four-week session in dance education going over well in a school in rural Alabama?

What about inner city New York?

  • Joined 2/25/00
  • 13233
  • Post #12
  • Originally posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 (9 years ago)
Quoted from "One Skirt Wonder"
Swingkitten's point about the value of summer activities is great. But a huge part of our society's kids don't get these "luxuries" of summer camp/ arts programs/learning vacations due mostly to economic factors. It would be great if they did as there is incredible value in that. I like the idea of have 1 term a year that was more elective based.

And who's gonna pay for that?

The school district where myself (and my sisters) attended has had it's arts and electives cut AGAIN this coming year. It happens year after year. And this is a district in a moderately wealthy suburb of Chicago. We're not talking about the hood.

If we can't get taxpayers willing to pony up a couple bucks for after-school band, what makes everyone think they'll subsidize these kids going kayaking?

We are the keepers of Funny, the Judges, the Whisperers. We are Superior Naysayers And Rebukers of Knavery. We are SNARK. - Boosh!

  • Joined 2/7/01
  • 13635
  • Post #13
  • Originally posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 (9 years ago)
Quoted from "whipitgood"
Quoted from "SwingKitten"
Can you imagine a four-week session in dance education going over well in a school in rural Alabama?
What about inner city New York?

MAybe you should see this movie...

The velocity of Spanish is that many tables do not have sadness...

  • Joined 6/6/00
  • 402
  • Post #14
  • Originally posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 (9 years ago)
Quoted from "skadoo"
Why shouldn't schools in the US be open all year?

because blues4cp would quit. she told me so herself.

  • Joined 5/10/00
  • 3791
  • Post #15
  • Originally posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 (9 years ago)
Quoted from "skadoo"
Larry brought up an interesting point in the What should everyone learn thread. He said that there was no way that schools in the US could remain open all year. Why or why not? I've long believed that the students and teachers would benefit from year round school. And I think it would be easier on parents as they wouldn't have to find day care for the summer. What are your thoughts?

Kids need to be kids and having a summer break is an important part of that. Teachers have a hard job. They cannot just take a coffee break or answer personal calls. They even have to schedule their own bathroom breaks. They deserve the summer off. Anyone who wants year-round school so they don't have to get day care is a lazy parent. Day care is not the job of the school sysytem. Why did people have kids for anyway?

  • Joined 10/29/02
  • 3885
  • Post #16
  • Originally posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 (9 years ago)

There are schools that are year round...mainly to alleviate overcrowding.

I am all for year round schools. Although, as Mugsy pointed out, I'd have to leave housepainting behind. Damn!

But...especially in low income areas where the kids ARENT going to summer camps and such, year round schooling could help them be competitive. Year round schooling doesn't get rid of breaks, it just takes that long summer break and turns it into smaller breaks throughout the year. The kids don't have 2 months to undo 10 of hard progress.

Children in most parts of the world go to school 100 days more than in the US...and their test scores are higher. In fact, our first two years of undergrad here are equivalent to the last two years of high school overseas. That's a huge difference.

If people don't want to make the school year longer (yes, that would mean an increase in utility bills, staffing, etc) I'd be willing to compromise. I would still be in favor of a year round calendar that keeps a similar number of days.

But, what I think would be an EVEN BETTER compromise will truly never happen. I'd like to still let kids have their summers off (vacations, migrant workers, summer camps, fine) BUT have them go back to the same grade. It would be a lot easier to review similar material for the same grade and have to back track a bit than have kids come back and expecting them to have progressed and work at a higher level. Why not make the grade transition happen in January after the, still difficult but more manageable, winter break?

I wish people in this country would be willing to think outside the box and try really different things, rather than just shoving more of the same things onto the schools. If we want to see REAL progress, we will have to make REAL changes.

  • Joined 10/29/02
  • 3885
  • Post #17
  • Originally posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 (9 years ago)
Quoted from "Marcelo"
You forgot college professors. And there's no way colleges will go year round. They make too much extra money on summer school programs and professors need the summers to go off to the Galapagos islands or whatever to do research. My father uses the time to write materials for publication.

I don't think universities need to go year round. Summer is a great time for internship and school related activities, and young adults do need more freedom to practice being and adult.

But, most universities still offer summer sessions for those wishing to take classes.

  • Joined 10/29/02
  • 3885
  • Post #18
  • Originally posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 (9 years ago)
Quoted from "grasshopper"
It'll never happen, but from an educational standpoint, most students would benefit from year round schooling AND from starting a second language in first grade, when their brains are still open to it, rather than waiting until High School, when they are past the critical age of language aquisition. Alot of International Schools have two week breaks in winter, spring, and summer, and have 3 day weekends or no school on Wednesdays. I'm a big fan. As a teacher, I wouldn't mind losing the summer off if I didn't have to waste september and october getting the kids all caught up again. Argh.

I completely agree with everything you've said.

And having a half day on Wednesdays would be a great opportunity to do the entire aspect of my job that I can't do when the kids are around.

  • Joined 6/14/04
  • 662
  • Post #19
  • Originally posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 (9 years ago)

I did year round in Elementary, I think it was 8 weeks on, 3 weeks off and a slightly longer break for the breaks. I think it's a good idea for elementary... less daycare costs for parents, keeps kids better focused, and gives kids a better foundation. After that... I think schools shouldn't be year round.

  • Joined 10/29/02
  • 3885
  • Post #20
  • Originally posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 (9 years ago)
Quoted from "SwingKitten"
I think year-round schooling is a bad idea. Some of the most valuable education I ever received wasn't "education" in a pure sense at all; it was summer camp and summer theatre programs. Kids learn so many valuable social lessons in summer camp settings, and summer arts and music programs allow those who may not excel in school to focus on and nurture what they really enjoy. Furthermore, research has shown that kids today are already overstressed and overscheduled; why not give them time to relax and enjoy their childhood?

If every school in the country were year round, these programs would evolve to fit into those breaks. The problem is that the kids who would benefit most from year round schooling are really the kids who aren't able to take advantage of those programs anyways.

Research shows that children in the US are overstressed and overscheduled. We go to school far fewer days than our counterparts in other countries, and they aren't as stressed out. Maybe we need to take a look at why.

  • Joined 10/29/02
  • 3885
  • Post #21
  • Originally posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 (9 years ago)

A few years ago the district where I went to school openned up one of their schools as year round. It's optional for kids to go, but since my district is largely a low-income district all around, it's had a lot of success. And the kids love it, too!

  • Joined 5/1/00
  • 2192
  • Post #22
  • Originally posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 (9 years ago)
Quoted from "vintagewhore"
Quoted from "skadoo"
Why shouldn't schools in the US be open all year?
because blues4cp would quit. she told me so herself.

& 8194;& 8194;& 8194;& 8194;& 8194;Amen sister.

  • Joined 12/21/99
  • 4435
  • Post #23
  • Originally posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 (9 years ago)

School should definitely not be year round. Summer is the only time I get to drive 65 miles per hour through a school zone...please don't take that way from me.

MrG MrG
  • Joined 5/30/01
  • 281
  • Post #24
  • Originally posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 (9 years ago)

You have any idea what this would do to the already horrendous teacher-turnover?

About 50 leave within their first five years.

"Compared with an average annual turnover rate of 11 for many other occupations, the most recent national data available tell us that teachers turn over at a rate of 16 per year. The percentage is higher 20 per year for teachers in public schools with high concentrations of poor students.

I found in my research that these high rates of turnover have little to do with a graying workforce. In fact, as many as 33 of new hires leave teaching altogether in their first three years, and 46 leave in the first five years."

Here's the source

http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/2002-08-14-oplede_x.htm

  • Joined 12/31/69
  • 1804
  • Post #25
  • Originally posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 (9 years ago)

The entire special ed school district in NYC runs 12 months per year. In order to retain teachers for work during the summer months, we recieve an extra 17.5 of our annual salary for an extra six weeks of work. It's a pretty sweet deal.

  • Joined 11/8/02
  • 836
  • Post #26
  • Originally posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 (9 years ago)

Summer camps and theatre programs benefit mostly affluent kids. Year round schooling would provide better structure for many children that don't get it at home.

Plus I wouldn't get calls from my teacher friends in July on a Tuesday that start with "Are you working today?"

yes, I'm jealous

Air Air
  • Joined 12/30/04
  • 10190
  • Post #27
  • Originally posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 (9 years ago)

I gotta go with Swingkitten on this one. Let kids be kids!

They cut recess to give extra foundation classes but the kids are all fidgety so they feed them drugs to control them and now they're ADD and overweight. When I was student teaching I saw between 30-40 of 7th graders get up to go to the nurse for medication during lunch on a school trip - and most of them were getting Ridilin (sp) or the like. This was out of a group of about 220 kids. Scary.

Best teacher I witnessed while student teaching story. 7th graders. It was spring, kids were restless and chatty. At one point she put down the chalk and told everyone to get up. Then jump up and down for 2 minutes (watching the clock). Then, talk to eachother for 30 seconds about whatever they needed to talk about.

Then, they all sat down. Quiet, content. Class flew by, they were responsive and on target. Really simple cause and effect is going on and I don't see the point in trying make a 7 year old kid sit in a chair for hours and not expect them to want to run around. When I was a kid I HATED the cafeteria - couldn't wait to get outside and do whatever. Lived for summer, barely watched TV.

My 0.02

Do you know how awkward it is to have a political argument with a naked man?

  • Joined 5/21/01
  • 1868
  • Post #28
  • Originally posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 (9 years ago)

While I think the schools intrioducing the arts to kids is a nice idea, I'd much rather have them teach them all to read ... which isn't happening now.

  • Joined 8/4/00
  • 3324
  • Post #29
  • Originally posted Wednesday, May 11, 2005 (9 years ago)
Quoted from "nurseboy"
I think "year round school" is a misnomer. They still get close to the same amount of time off, it's just that it's spread out differently. The breaks are shorter (2 week stretches at the longest), but a tad more frequent.

Agreed. I never claimed that the UK scheduel was "year-round". But the way it is spread out gived a bit more continuity when the kids return in the fall.

  • Joined 8/4/00
  • 3324
  • Post #30
  • Originally posted Wednesday, May 11, 2005 (9 years ago)
Quoted from "Mugsy Malone"
And who's gonna pay for that?

Right, that was actually the point I was trying to make to to SK. These summer activities are only afforded by a small percentage of children's parents. So saying all kids should get this long summer break to experience summer camp programs, arts programs, etc - while good in theory - is mostly happening for the elite. It's great that SK found ways to go on scholarships and to more state funded programs. But I know when I was in HS, I never knew of these summer programs. I think that though they may be available in some districts, that is not widespread enough nor are the majority of kids aware of these programs that are not just for the rich. I sure wasn't.

Quoted from "Mugsy Malone"
If we can't get taxpayers willing to pony up a couple bucks for after-school band, what makes everyone think they'll subsidize these kids going kayaking?

Agreed. Therein lies the conundrum.

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