The Apache Pow Wow

Regular vs Yearlong School

Ian Sutliff, Staff Writer

More and more students today are starting to leave their schools to attend schools with year-round schedules. This has sparked a debate on whether year-round schools are better than schools with standard schedules.

Many people are familiar with the standard school schedule in public and private schools. It usually consists of four quarters, each with ten to eleven weeks, lasting from August to June. There is a one-week break for Thanksgiving, two weeks for the holidays, one for spring break, and a full two-month break from the beginning of June until the middle of August.

Year-round schools have a similar schedule. It’s schedule consists of longer breaks, but they do not have a long, ten-week summer break. Year-round schools have the same number of school days, but they have longer breaks for some holidays. The schedules for these schools work on a 45-15, 60-20, or 90-30 day work schedule. For example, for every 60 work days there are 20 days off. Year-round schools also have four quarters of nine weeks instead of four quarters of ten or eleven weeks. In a year-round schedule, schools have one week off for Thanksgiving, four for the holidays, four for spring, and four for summer as well.

In addition to the many differences of both of these schedules, there are also pros and cons to traditional schools. Students can have authentic experiences outside of the classroom and they can also go to summer camps. Some other benefits are that there is more family time away from the demands of school, and teachers get a real break from teaching and lesson planning.

Some disadvantages of the traditional school year schedule are that there’s lots of learning time that’s lost during the lengthy summer break, and it takes students a while to get back into the swing of things when they return to school. The traditional schedule also slows down teachers’ progress at the beginning of the year because they find themselves reviewing content with their students from the previous grade. One last con of having a longer summer is that the remediation offered in summer is often too little.

One of the conveniences of having a year-round schedule is that there are only four weeks of break, which ensures that newly learned information stays fresh in students’ heads. Other advantages include less stress for teachers and students with regular breaks throughout the year. The year-round schedule may benefit the achievement of disadvantaged students as well because they don’t have to worry about going to any summer camps over the summer.

Some downsides of having a year-round school is that students may have to switch classes in the middle of the year and limited space availability makes remediation difficult in multi-track schools. Longer school years are also more demanding on both the student body and staff. The schedule also limits time for teachers to update skills and earn advanced degrees.

Each school has its pros and cons, but it is better to go to a traditional scheduled school if you like to have a big break, but if you feel like a big break is non-beneficial then you should go to a year-round school. Though year-long schools are beginning to get more and more attention, the best decision in picking schools is squarely based on preference.


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Regular vs Yearlong School