Ask An Expert: What are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Year Round Schools?

Question: I am considering taking an accounting job with a district that has year round schools. Since I am unfamiliar with the concept, I would like to know what the benefits and drawbacks are. Me and my husband have 3 school aged children, and we want to do what’s best for them. Virginia S.

Answer: Virginia, first of all, congratulations on the job offer. I know that it must be difficult for you and your husband to consider exposing your children to something that is unfamiliar. In this column, I will explain the benefits and drawbacks of year round schools, which will help you make a more informed decision concerning your job offer.

Many school districts around the country are in fact working toward extending the school year. As far as the benefits of year round schools, the shift in the time designated for teaching and learning helps students achieve more by minimizing summer learning loss, allowing for innovation and implementation of creative programs, and providing the time needed to assist children who need extra help.

Research seems to back up these claims, as it shows that time may be the most essential resource of the education system. However, it is important to recognize that merely  extending the school year is not a panacea for improving student performance. It is necessary to utilize the available time in the best possible manner. If educators fail to convert the available time to quality teaching and learning time, the increased school year will not improve student performance.

While I have pointed out the many benefits of a longer school year, there are also some drawbacks. The major drawback is the assumed detriment to family structure. American families have become accustomed to the traditional long summer vacation. Parents may find it difficult to schedule vacations and family reunions. This concern is not to be dismissed, as it is important to children’s development to spend quality time with their families.

Childcare could also become a concern, particularly if multiple, shorter school vacations were scheduled throughout the year, at times when parents are working. Extracurricular activities are another dimension of schooling that can be negatively influenced by year-round schooling. Teachers managing extracurricular activities have observed difficulties adapting these activities into a year-round schooling schedule.

Another area of concern when adapting to year-round schooling schedules is its effect on the administration. School administrators have sometimes found it difficult to deal with licensure and contractual issues of the teachers when working out schedules for year-round schools. It can also be difficult to plan the optimal use of school buildings. Of course, a serious issue is finding ways to best leverage this new, extended school year to increase quality instruction time. In short, year-round schools require the administrative blocks of schools to keep working throughout the year, which increases the administrative burden.

At the end of the day, you have to compare and contrast the benefits and drawbacks of year round schools with your families situation. Do the benefits outweigh the drawbacks or vice versa? I hope my column will assist you and your husband in making an informed decision. Good luck, and let me know how it goes.

0 Replies to “Ask An Expert: What are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Year Round Schools?”

  1. I know several homeschooling families who do school year around. Some of the kids graduate early as a result. Others choose to do less throughout the year and extend the school year. That summer “learning loss” can be a huge thing especially for those that might have learning issues dealing with memory. Year-around-school sound like a nice fit for some families.

  2. I would think that kids would get tired. Adults need vacations and so do children. Yes, may summer break is a bit too long, but don’t take summer break away!

    1. There would be breaks year round. I know of several year round schools who take a 3 week or month long break every three months. This way the break is shorter and the kids haven’t forgotten everything they were supposed to be learning.

  3. What about the money drawback? If schools were open year around, then air conditioners would have to be put in the schools up north so that students wouldn’t die in heat of the summer. In my area, schools are considering going to four days a week in order to save money on heating and bussing, etc… If there were year around schools they wouldn’t save as much.

  4. I would love to take my wife and four kids on learning vacations every three months of so. It would be nice to have year round schools in my area, but we don’t. I’m limited to vacationing in the summer.

  5. Pingback: theodore
  6. I really hope we don’t take summer breaks away! Year round school may have a few benefits, but I believe the cons outweigh the pros.

  7. i am doing a class project on this subject. it is a debate i am on the negitive side of year round school any advice

      1. thank you so much for your wonderful advice. this will be sure to help me through future debates. considering that you have a PHD it is amazing. especially because you wrote the article yourself. once again i say thank you and i am very happy that i got some advice. this will help me so much. thank you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *