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Summer School Slump


After reading a recent Associated Press article on summer school budget cuts, AssortedStuff’s Tim Stalmer thinks he sees an even better solution to allowing all students to have access to year-round educational activities: permanently end summer school programs in favor of establishing a more flexible school year calendar.

“And is it possible that low-income kids fall behind over the 2-3 month break while affluent kids don’t for reasons that have nothing to do with summer school?
So maybe, rather than just cutting back on summer school programs (and restoring them when the economy improves), we should take this opportunity to kill it altogether.”

Is year-round schooling the solution?


Year-round Schools Don't Boost Learning, Study Finds
ScienceDaily (2007-08-14) -- Students in "year-round" schools don't learn more than their peers in traditional nine-month schools, new research has found. A sociologist found that, over a full year, math and reading test scores improved about the same amount for children in year-round schools as they did for students whose schools followed a traditional nine-month calendar. ... > read full article

I would definitely vote against year-round schooling at least for high school students. Not only do I need the time to update my own knowledge and rework plans for the following year, but students often use the summer "vacation" to get summer jobs which help cover their expenses during the year or build college funds. For those students not working during the summer, I would encourage the implementation of a variety of enrichment activities which could be provided by the entire community including recreation departments, YMCA's, churches, community art and theater groups and others. The business community could also pitch in with financial support. An internship program could be implemented in which students receive elective credit toward graduation in lieu of pay by working in local offices learning business skills for future use. The entire community should contribute to raising well-rounded, and poised young adults who are prepared to take their place in society.

"Advantaged" students don't spend summers studying out of books. They learn and develop skills while they are having fun. If you ask students what they really need, they will tell you that they don't have anything to do that is fun and not dangerous. The schools' role should be funneling students toward the activity that is relevant to that student and perhaps notifying funding agencies of financial need, not providing the services. It's just my opinion, but I think we need to spend less time telling students what they need to do and a little more finding out what they want to do. Perhaps if they felt that the entire community truly valued them as individuals enough to help them find their way to adulthood, they would value themselves and others a bit more. I've been teaching for 25 years and have taught students from all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds and I can tell you that it is not financial wealth that creates an "advantaged" student. It's feeling that someone cares who they really are and is willing to help them find their way. We are a social species and we thrive when we feel valued by those around us. I just don't think summer school or year-round school satisfies that need.

I agree with Margaret’s comments in a lot of ways mainly because I do think high school students need a break from school to relax their minds or make some extra money with a summer job. For most students it has always been the traditional way to have a summer break. If that advantage were to be taken away from high school students, I think there would be a huge increase in students losing interest in their school work. If student’s performances began to drop, then so would test scores and acceptant into college. As for elementary schools, I think summer school or maybe only a one month vacation instead of three months would be a better advantage. At a younger age, it is important to learn more; therefore, it is wise to continually feed students with knowledge. Will education ever make this change? That is very hard question to answer being that NCLB is in strong force and presidential elections are in the near future.

I agreee, no year-round school. With the focus on testing and meeting AYP, many students dislike coming to school because of the pressure that is being put on them. Schools have gone as far as to eliminate physical education, art and music classes. Much of the "fun" once associated with school is gone. Let's give the children the summer to relax, imagine and "have fun."

It isn't all or nothing. In the district in which I live, the elementary schools in some neighborhoods are on year-round schedules, while others are not. In another district, they have K-8 on year-round, but not the high schools (mostly for sports!). Teachers/parents I've spoken to say it took an adjustment, but the year-round schedule offers some advantages -- one being that they suffer from less burnout.

I would really need to see the pro's and cons for a year round high school. It would be a big adjustment. But definetly some kids do take advantage of the summer break to work and save money for their college funds. An adjustment of some sort would have to be made in order to accomdate the students and teacher's financially. Students are not the only ones who work in the summer. What about us teachers who work various jobs in the summer to make ends meat?

I am in favor of the year around schools but also believe that students (and teachers) need the time to pursue personal interests. Vacations are when many families visit museums, zoos, etc. It may be the solution is not in decreasing the time off, but in changing the schedule to have more (shorter) breaks.
In the pros and cons list would have to be the costs associated with cooling the school buildings. Also consider that in some areas school maybe the only place where there is supervision and a dependable meal.

Comments are now closed for this post.


Recent Comments

  • Tamara Dodge: I am in favor of the year around schools read more
  • Kelli Warnock: I would really need to see the pro's and cons read more
  • Lightly Seasoned: It isn't all or nothing. In the district in which read more
  • Kelly Berthold: I agreee, no year-round school. With the focus on testing read more
  • Haley: I agree with Margaret’s comments in a lot of ways read more




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