Click here to see how Kanawha County's year-round schools break their calendars down vs. traditional schools.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As obvious as the name, year-round schooling is education that takes place all year. For as long as many middle and high school students have been in school, there has been talk about year-round schooling.A normal school year averages 180 days a year, with nine or 10 weeks of summer vacation. Students with year round schooling still go 180 days a year, but they get several three-week vacations spread throughout the year.Taylor McCormick, a former West Virginia student now living in Florida, said, "Year-round schooling has its pros and cons, but from my point of view, mostly cons due to the fact that students would be attending school throughout the year."As for the pros, she commented that even though school would last all year long, the subjects in school would be more elaborately covered.For many teachers and students, a major flaw in the year-round school system is not having a three-month break each summer. Not everyone thinks getting rid of this is a bad thing, though."Three months off is a complete waste of learning time," said Judy Sanders, whose daughter, Breanna, is a sophomore at Scott High School."With year-round schooling, teens still get a great deal of miniature breaks in substitute of the large summer break," she added.
Parents aren't the only ones who believe year-round schooling will keep students on top of their schoolwork without any distraction or loss of knowledge due to summer vacation. Some teens feel that way, too."I think year-round schooling would be more beneficial because our schedules would be more flexible, and we wouldn't have to worry about forgetting important information during summer vacation," said Brittany Whitt, a sophomore at Scott.During the long weeks of hard work put into a year's worth of school, students learn many things that aren't always reviewed before the end of a school year. A number of teenagers complain that at the start of a new grade, remembering what they were taught in the previous year is problematic."Three months is a long time," declared Breanna Sanders. "If we went to a year-round school, think about how much more education would be covered."The thought of year-round schooling isn't a pleasant one for Scott sophomore Paige Booth. However, she can understand its benefits. "I don't think year-round school is a good idea. We wouldn't get summer break like we do now," she said, but admitted, "It would probably be better for our education because usually teens forget what they learned the year before when they come back from summer break."Besides losing summer vacation, there are other downsides to year-round schools, including cost. If school is in session all year, operating and maintenance costs will increase.
With the extra money being spent on that, other things like sports, extracurricular activities and arts programs may not have enough funding to survive. Many are already struggling as it is. However, academically, year-round schooling can have a positive effect on students who may be struggling with their education -- even if a more spread out school year makes them feel as if school never ends.