Year-round schooling is a system wherein children go to school for the course of a full year rather than the traditional nine months of school with a three-month break. Year-round schooling continues to be confusing in many ways, especially for parents who have heard about the system, but have not had children participate in this type of scheduling.
Not knowing exactly what year-round school is, in itself, brings about some of the controversy associated with this type of school schedule. What the schedule means, in a nutshell, is that children attend school for three months, are off from school for one month, and then go back to school for another three months. When children attend school, they “track on”. When they are out of school, they “track off. During the course of a year, students track on three times and they track off three times.
The concept of tracking on and off is viewed as a pro of year-round schooling by some people. Others, however, see the tracking system as a con. Those who like tracking on and off tend to appreciate the breaks, that are just long enough for children to have a few weeks of free time, but not so long that children begin to bore of having nothing to do.
Many who do not like tracking on and off tend to look down on the inability to have the entire summer off from school. Many parents want their children to be free for the summer so they can play and have fun and so the family can travel if they so choose to do so.
More Pros And Cons Of Having Year-Round Schooling
Pros having year-round schooling
* Children retain information at higher rates because their minds remain in the “learning” mode for longer periods of time when the three-month summer is removed from their educations.
* Teachers spend a lot less time reviewing material when children return to school because children do not spend three months forgetting what they have learned during previous grades.
* Parents can choose the tracks they want their children to attend. By selecting a track, parents determine which months their children will be in school and which months they will be on breaks.
* When children attend year-round school and parents want to go on vacation, parents can have the school place their children on ‘Independent Study’. Independent study allows children to complete class work on a home school basis and then turn the work in when they go back to school.
* Families with two or more children attending year-round school are normally afforded opportunities to keep all children in the household on the same track. This means all siblings track on and track off at the same time.
* School districts save money on school related costs because they are able to educate more children, while at the same time, operating fewer schools.
Cons of having year-round schooling
* Parents preferring traditional school systems may not like being “forced” to send their children to the alternative scheduling system.
* Parents may not want the responsibility of home schooling children placed on independent study while they are supposed to be on vacation.
* Even though parents are given a choice of what tracks they want their children to attend, track placement is not guaranteed. Sometimes, children may have to attend a non-preferable track for at least a portion of a school year.
* Parents seeking childcare for school age children might need to change providers from time to time if their childcare service or sitter becomes unavailable due to student intermittent schedules.
Despite the fact that year-round schooling pros and the cons continue to circulate throughout school communities, many parents, once placing children in year-round schools, find they like the system much more than they thought they would like it.