Tell a friend
Round Schools in Public School Systems
Understanding the Year
vs. Traditional School Calendars
The year-round calendar is an increasingly popular
alternative to the traditional nine-month school calendar.
Parents however tend to have very polar views of the
concept. Those in favor of the year round calendar
approve of the continuity of education with shorter summer
breaks, believe that their children are benefiting
academically from the continuous schedule and find the
year round calendar more manageable for working parents.
Those opposed, view the year round calendar as an unwanted
intrusion into their family's traditional summer vacation.
They believe that it is healthier psychologically for
children to have an extended summer break away from the
pressures and demands of the academic school year.
Another major concern for opponents of year round
calendars center around districts offering the extended
calendar option for elementary or middle school levels
and not having the same option available for junior or
high school students. For families with children
falling within two or three different grade levels
juggling different academic calendars can be a nightmare.
exactly what is the difference between the traditional
and the year round academic calendars? According
to an article posted on
Kidsource.com, ERIC Clearinghouse on Teaching and
Teacher Education explains the concept of the year round
school calendar is as follows:
education (YRE) is a concept which reorganizes the
school year to provide more continuous learning by
spacing the long summer vacation into shorter, more
frequent vacations throughout the year (Johnson, 2000).
Year-round schools may be on a single-track or
multi-track schedule. A single-track schedule generally
calls for an instructional year of 180 days, with short
breaks (or inter sessions) interspersed throughout the
school year. A multi-track schedule staggers the
instructional and vacation/intersession periods of each
track throughout the entire year, so that some students
are receiving instruction while others are on vacation.
in a single-track 45/15 design, the year is divided into
four nine-week terms separated by three-week vacations
or intersessions. All students and teachers attend
school for nine weeks (45 days), then are on a
three-week vacation (15 days). This sequence is repeated
four times each year. Alternatively, in a multi-track
45/15 design, students are normally divided into four
groups. During a 12-week period, all students receive
nine weeks of instruction and three weeks of vacation,
but only three of the four groups are in school at one
time, while the fourth group is on vacation. When the
vacation group returns, another group leaves for a
Thus, in the
multi-track configuration, the enrollment in existing
schools can be increased by one-third, or,
alternatively, current class size can be reduced
(Minnesota, 1999). Moreover, money which would otherwise
have been spent on construction of new schools may be
utilized to pay additional salary to teachers who elect
to extend their contract on the multi-track year-round
schedule. Therefore, the annual income of these teachers
can conceivably be increased by one-third, and the
supply of teachers can be increased by one-third (Liebman,
If you are
tackling a choice between the traditional or year round
school calendar options this page is designed to provide
you with informative links that examine both the pros and
cons of an extended school calendar.
Reference Source: Kidsource.com:
Teaching in year round schools
Did you Know?
Newshour Extra: A Newshour with Jim Lehrer special
for students -
Going to School Year Round
traditional school-year calendar with early morning
start times and two or three month summer breaks was
designed when many Americans lived on a farm.
time, school calendars revolved around the harvesting
and planting of crops so that children could be home to
help during the busiest summer months.
Schools stuck to the schedule after farming declined, in
part because it was difficult to hold classes during the
hot summer months without air conditioning.