School: Year-roud or Traditional?

[deleted account] ( 26 moms have responded )

The school district we live in has year-round school. For those of you who aren't familiar with this schedule it goes like this: the kids have 3 months in school and 1 month off for three cycles (or "trimesters" as opposed to "semesters" of traditional schools). There are 4 "tracks" that have equal numbers of students and cycle through when their month off is, so there are always 3 tracks "on" and 1 track "off," except for in the summer when the whole school has about 2 weeks off.



So, for example (assuming that school is in from July-June and we'll just rule out holidays and such): Track A students would be off in July, November and March; Tack B students would be off in August, December and April; Track C students would be off in September, January and May; and Track D students would be off in October, February and June. Of course it's not quite that simple (because of holidays), but that's the basic point.



My questions are:

Do you all think the traditional schedule (with 3 solid months off for the summer) is better? Worse? Why?

What do you all have in your school districts?

Do you like the scheduling your school has (whether it's traditional or year-round)? Why?

What did you have as a child?

Did you like what you had as a child? Why?



I am just really curious as to what you all think. :)

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[deleted account]

Laura, I do like the idea of starting the school day later for teenagers. Its been proven that their circadian rythym (cycles of sleep and wake) are different than adults. They NEED the sleep that the later school day provides.

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Karen - posted on 02/17/2010

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I personally prefer a traditional schedule and don't think my DD will be too far behind when school starts up again in the Fall. Firstly, her school goes from 9AM-3:45PM and that is plenty long enough. As it is we get home after 4 and if she has any activities after that we have an hour to get our act together for the next day, start homework, change clothes, get a snack. Since I want her to be exposed to more than just class work, I feel it's important to also fit in swimming lessons, dance, Brownies, etc. By the time I pick her up she is wiped out but is obviously learning a lot since she's reading at a 4th grade level in 1st grade. I like the Summer break because it gives her a chance to just be a kid. I'm concerned that all of the emphasis on academics is robbing kids of the joy of childhood. Yes, I've read the studies about American kids being behind and no doubt that does happen, look at a lot of big city school districts (I live in the Detroit area), but (and I can't cite the studies since I can't remember my source) what I have read recently is that kids in other countries are behind Americans in skills such as working together, problem solving, etc. So, some of the alleged trade offs are resulting in our kids being more collaborative which is what a lot of work places are moving to. By putting such a huge emphasis on academics we are burning kids out and a lot of them can't just go make up a game they have to be entertained. Gone are the days of taking off in the morning, making up games all day, and returning for dinner. Having the summer off allows us to do other stuff and explore other interests - baseball, going to the beach, swimming, going to museums, going to the zoo, read a book for pleasure, run in the sprinkler, sleep late, stay up late looking at the stars, for bats, or enjoying a bonfire, going camping, do nothing, and if you have a child in a differerent school than her friends, just having the time to rekindle your friendships with no pressure to "do" anything but be a kid.



There will be plenty of time for her to be a responsible adult down the road, now she needs to enjoy her childhood. And yes, I do care about her education and make sure she is getting the best she can, and she will be expected to continue her education past High School.

[deleted account]

I do live in America. I honestly don't think all of America has the same schedule for "traditional" schools, but where we are, the next district over (which is on a traditional schedule and it's the one our daughter used to go to) has summer vacation from May 26th, 2010 to September 5, 2010, so that's 3 months (they do not have a spring break). When I was a child (in a different state from where I am now), we got off in early June (the first week) and didn't go back until after Labor Day (the first Monday in September), which is almost 3 months.

Our daughter is on the track that actually gets off at the end of May (as opposed to the end of June), which means that she gets 6 weeks off in the summer (all of June and 2 weeks in July) and we really like that. It is nice to get the slightly extended time in the summer with her. But, like I said before, even though my hubby, MIL and I all work with her on keeping her educational skills up while she is off track (we are all VERY involved all the time), she spends half of every vacation with her biological mom (who lives over 2600 miles away). Her bio mom does NOTHING at all that even resembles anything educational (they watch movies and go to the park or Chuck-E-Cheese all the time or our daughter gets plunked in front of the t.v...) and I really like having the shorter vacations because there is less "damage" done to our daughter's education because of this (it was actually very detrimental in the summer between Kindergarted and 1st grade. She didn't catch up until January, despite all of my MIL and my attempts to help her every single day after school).

I think different schedules work for different people. I tend to really like the year-round schedule for my specific purposes, and I know others like the schedules they are on for their specific purposes. :) I think that as long as you are happy with what your district provides, then that is all that really matters in the end.

As for the day starting later for high schoolers, I think that would be great for some high schoolers, but not all. I was in "zero period" which met for an hour each day before school started (so this class was from 6:30-7:30 in the morning and the regualr day for the school started at 7:40 am). Taking zero period enabled me to get the last two periods of the day free, which then enabled me to work more. When I was in high school, I went to school from 6:30 am - 12:35 pm (when lunch was over), then I went to work from 1-5 pm (I was the front office assistant for my local town office), then I went to my mom's dance studio and took 10 hours of dance per week, plus I taught 2 classes as well (I taught the 3, 4, 5 & 6 year-olds) and I started my mom's adult lyrical (ballet) class every week as well (I guided them through their warm-ups). This was my schedule for 4 years, my last two years of high school and the first two years after I graduated and I went to the local community college. It was a great schedule for me and I loved always being busy and being able to work for my own money. If my school had late start I would not have been able to do this. I understand a late start would really help some high school students, but I do not think it should be something that is mandatory because then it would hold back people like me who need to get started with their day nice and early to fit everything in.

Isobel - posted on 02/17/2010

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ok... I'll throw my two cents in too. Here in Ontario (or at least Toronto public school system) our kids get out of school on the last Friday of June and go back on the second Tuesday of September. which means...depending on how the days fall, our summer holidays can last anywhere from 6-8 weeks. They get a long weekend almost every month, two weeks for Christmas and one week for March break.

I like it because the kids will be going to camp in Algonquin Park for the month of July every summer (they will learn camping, hiking archery, canoeing, and a whole lot of other stuff that you never get to learn in the city), then they get two weeks at home, then we go on a family vacation for two weeks, then a week to relax before school starts again.

I am more interested at the experimental schedules that they have tried for high schools...apparently, schools that start an hour later have their truancy rates drop drastically as well as their grades go up the same amount! I, for one will give my kids permission (in high school) to take a spare first period every semester if they want to.

Amie - posted on 02/16/2010

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Oh I also forgot to add that the maintenance staff is on during the entire year. They and the janitors are the only ones who work year round. Everyone else is on the students schedule, mostly. The teachers go back a week earlier to get everything organized.

Amie - posted on 02/16/2010

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Holly thank you. But now I must ask... Where do you live?

I understand some of your points. I agreed with some already in my last post.

The reason I ask where you live is because of the 3 months off. I'm assuming you are American. Even when I was in school we did not have 3 months off. =S That's quite the stretch.
Also the length of the beginning of the year reviews. The reviews here last a week. But again, most parents are involved and are expected to be. So extended reviews are not needed.
The summer employment is specifically what I meant. This may be different here though too. We have summer programs set up specifically for students. They gain experience, earn money and still have down time. Whereas when they are in school, having even a normal part time (20 hour) job could cause issues with some kids. So our crown corporations have set up programs for students. If you go through restaurants, gas stations, etc. during the summer too you'll notice that their student employees dramatically rise in numbers. It is because business is busier during the summer (tourist season) so they need the extra help. Most of these jobs people do not want on term positions nor for the money they offer (minimum wage) so they hire students to do it.
It is good to know that the district makes every concession for the teachers, students and parents to be on the same schedule but I still don't see the need for it in school districts like mine. Where the system set up is already a good one. In some I can understand where it is needed and works but I don't think here it would be a good idea.

[deleted account]

Hey Amie! I think I can answer a couple of your questions in the first part of your post :)
(1) From personal experience (my oldest has been on both traditional and year-round schedules), MY daughter retains the information she learned better having just 1 month long breaks as opposed to the 3 month long summer break she had on the traditional schedule. I am not saying this is true for all children, but it is true for my daughter (and it was true for me when I was in a year-round school). I think this has a bigger impact on my daughter though because she goes to see her bio mom for half of every school vacation and her bio mom does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING educational whatsoever when she has our daughter. Therefore, 2 weeks of no educational content is a lot better for her than 6 straight weeks in a row (like she's had before).
(2) The thing with the vacations being easier (for my family at least) is the fact that we can take our vacations when the traditional schools are in session, meaning lower rates and ticket prices in many instances. This is something that is very important for my family since we have to stay on budget and our budget has been reduced in recent years. I do not think parents with kids on traditional schedules have it harder, I just think that my family has it easier than we did before we moved to this school district.
(3) In my district, teachers stay on the same schedule as the track they teach. That means that my daughter's teacher has the same time off as her students (and the district also put her kids on the same track that she teaches so her family has vacations together). This way, teachers do not become "burned out" and they are with the same set of kids for the whole school year.
(4) Another positive thing about the year-round schooling is the fact that the district can accommodate more children with less schools. Because a quarter of the kids are off track at a time each school can take a quarter more kids and teachers than they normally would on a traditional schedule (which is actually the reason I think our district does tracks - we live in a very fast growing area and the schools are already overcrowded as it is - it would be an expensive mess if the district had to build more schools to accommodate all those kids all at once).

Now, as for the negative aspects of year-round schools. I understand where all of them are coming from, but there are a few things I need to point out.
(1) Yes, there are more "start of year" reviews, but my daughter's teacher has told me that the review is only for a day (maybe two at most) and then they are ready to get back to where they left off. She has taught at schools with traditional schedules and has told me that her average "review" time at the beginning of that schedule is around 6 weeks. MUCH different from the 4-8 days she spends now.
(2) Because our school district has always been year round, there have never been summer programs in our area, therefore they have not suffered. Something that's not there (and never has been) can't suffer :)
(3) Student summer employment (for high schoolers in my district) is very possible, in fact, it is possible all year long! The school district offers a class that is taken at the end of the day where the student would get off from school early to go to work AND get school credit for it at the same time. Therefore, students can gain work experience and get school credit all in one - a win-win situation if you ask me!
(4) The schools in our district were built with the year-round schedule in mind, therefore the air conditioners are always in working condition and running very well. If a school is going to be running year-round, then the school maintenance staff will make sure the air conditioner works. Besides, if a school on a traditional schedule doesn't have air conditioning, then what do they do in September or June (when traditional schedule schools are in session) when it's still fairly warm out? My daughter's traditional schedule school had an air conditioner and it always worked great, even if just for those months. I really don't see the fact that "most" schools have old air conditioners (or none) as a valid argument at all, in fact, I would like to see some valid stats on that one before I will even take it seriously...
(5) Extra curricular programs do not suffer at all in our district. Those children in those activities that are off track are dropped off and picked up from practices instead of going directly to them after school. If the parents and students are dedicated enough to their extra curricular activities, then they will (and do) make it work.
(6) Like I said before, our school district makes sure that siblings are on the same track. They do this as a courtesy to the families and kids are only on different tracks if the parents REQUEST it. I actually know a family that requested all their kids (they have 4) be on different tracks. They say it makes off track times easier (the mom doesn't have to deal with having 4 kids at home all at once for a whole month) and they can only take their vacations during the 2 weeks in July anyway because of the dad's work schedule. As for my family, all my kids will be on the same track, and the district will ensure that.

I will concede that my children will not be able to do programs that other children on traditional schedules do (the cadet things at least) because of being on the year-round schedule, but my kids have no interest in that anyway. If they do develop those interests then we would try to make it work or we would find alternate dates for those programs if they are available.

Amie - posted on 02/16/2010

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**This is long and I'm sorry for that, feel free to skip right over it if you like LOL**



Arguments for Year Round Education

•Students tend to forget a lot during the summer, and shorter vacations might increase retention rates.

•Schools that are not being used in the summer are inefficient.

•Short breaks can provide time for students to receive enrichment education.

•Remediation can occur when it is most needed during the school year.

•Students get bored during the long break of summer.

•It's easier to schedule vacations because not everyone wants to travel at the same time.

•Other countries around the world use this system.

•More students can be accommodated at one school through multi-tracking.


Ok I have a couple of thoughts on this and questions. Which I will address to you Meghan since you were the one to post it. =)

Anyone with school age kids knows that kids can (and do) forget things, no matter the length of the break from school.

Schools (at least here) during the summer are used. This is also the time upgrades, renovations, extensive cleaning, etc. is done. My father works for the school district in Maintenance. There is a crew of them that go around to all of the schools during our summer break to do or supervise everything that needs to be done. This then creates a safe environment during the school year for students since none of this is being done while they are in school.

I'm not worried about enrichment education as our school district, school and ourselves (husband and I) make sure our children are afforded every opportunity they want to persue. It's a non issue for us. In fact for a lot of families around us (even low income) it's a non issue since our community association also does a lot to make sure affordable programs are available for children of all ages.

Remediation (correcting a fault or deficiency) can and does occur in our school district in our current traditional school year system. My daughter has ADHD. She's received the half day intensive learning with a specialized teacher to help her learn around (easiest way to explain it) her disability. There are many children, another in her class, who have received this. Two school years is all they need to "correct" the issues they are having before they are mainstreamed back into regular school only. (some only stay for 1 year too) My daughter is in her 2nd and final year. Because of this she is learning faster and easier then ever before.

I don't understand the vacation bit. How is it easier? Families around here that I know have no issue scheduling vacations. Even if it is within the normal school year. They have no problem with missed classes or playing catch up either once they are back.

Just because other countries use the system and it works there, it does not guarantee that it will work in other areas. It is not solely the amount of time a child spends in school that depicts whether or not it is a good one.

Multi tracking. How does this work for the teachers? While my children's education is important. A burnt out teacher is not going to be the best person to teach them. How does the scheduling affect them? Are they on the same schedule as the kids? Or do they stay on for the entire year and book off vacations (find a sub for while they're away)?

Arguments against Year Round Education

•Studies have been inconclusive to its academic benefits.

•Students are going to forget information whether they are out of school for three weeks or 10. Therefore, teachers will be performing four beginning of the year reviews instead of just one.

•Summer programs such as youth camps suffer.

•Student summer employment will be virtually impossible.

•Many schools are older and do not have air conditioning.

•Band and other extracurricular programs could be hurt because of problems scheduling out of school practices and competitions.

•If the entire school district does not go year round, parents could have students at different schools on different schedules.

•With multi-tracking, parents could have students at the same school on different schedules.


To this I don't have much to add. Some I said in the first half so will not expand unless asked too.

I do think camps and summer employment will suffer though. My kids go to summer camp. They love it. Our oldest this year is actually going for her first fully away from home camp. She's a navy cadet and going for a one week camp. I also know that once she is in the older cadets (whether it be sea, air or army) that having a year round system would severly impede these opportunities for her. The older cadets get shipped across the country and some even go to different areas of the world. We have one sea (older navy cadet) who spent last summer in Australia on one of our ships. If she had been in year round school she never would have been able to go. It was a wonderful opportunity for her and she did learn a lot from it. My sister is an air cadet, the older air cadets (once reaching a certain rank) can spend anywhere from a month to 6 weeks at camps across our country learning from different air bases. Again, something they would not be able to do during year round school. This does not even touch on the various other types of camps. I went to bible camp when I was a child. 2 weeks every summer. After that we would spend 2 weeks on a family vacation. We do something similar with our own kids.

I don't understand the no air conditioning argument honestly. We have older schools here too and while expensive, it can be installed in these schools. I think whoever wrote this quote you posted was stretching there.

I understand about band and other activities and scheduling conflicts. As it stands now there are times when it needs to be juggled within our own school and outside activities.

I also understand about it being an either or situation. If all schools don't switch it could cause some serious issues for the children and parents.



Again, I'm sorry this is so long. My children's education is something I take seriously though. I am involved (something more parents need to be) with everyone in their lives. I know all their teachers, all their support staff, our community director, anyone who comes into contact with them really who has something to do with their differing educations in many aspects. I don't rely solely on the school to teach them either. Teachers I find get a bad rap much too often. They do what they can with what they are given. If more parents would be involved (as it is at my kids school), if more would realize it is OUR job, not the teachers, to ensure our children get a proper education.. well then maybe there wouldn't be so many floundering kids across the country, across the world. Not only this but if quality education can be found to work, as it does in our school district, then longer school days or longer school years would not be needed.

[deleted account]

I went to school in the UK and we only had about 6 or 7 weeks off in the summer and a few other weeks scheduled throughout the year.



I really love the the idea of the traditional system with a 3 month summer. I think it would be so good for kids to just forget academic learning for 3 months and participate in a holiday club/summer camp or spend it at home with their family. It sounds like such a great opportunity to do a different type of learning that the school can't give them.



Traditional school will work perfectly for me because I spend all summer in the UK and my son loves it. He gets to hang out with his grandparents and have fun. If they changed to year round school or shorter holidays he wouldn't get the chance to do this as much.

[deleted account]

Jenny, if your school is too slack, move to my district! Sheesh...teachers never get a break (during the summers they re-write the curriculum) and students are pushed so hard. Perhaps that is why we are the best district in the state. But it's almost too much pressure on the teachers and students.

But some of the districts around us are pretty slack. I get where you are coming from.

Rosie - posted on 02/16/2010

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in my kids school district there is no school that offers year round school. i guess never having experienced it myself i don't know if i'd like it better for my kids. i do like the traditional school year and don't see any reason to change it. i like having summers off to be able to do things with my kids when it's nice outside. we can't afford to go anywhere where it's nice during the winter time, so that option is out for us, and even if we could afford it, they have 1 1/2 weeks of winter break to do that.

Jodi - posted on 02/16/2010

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I find school to be way too slack. I'd like a system where they go year round with two week breaks in the Spring, Summer and Winter. I'd extend the day by at least an hour too.




Personally, I don't agree with extending the day, but I am not sure what the school day is for your area. My son's day is currently from 8:40am until 3:15pm, and he has to catch buses, so he leaves home at 7:50am each morning, and arrives home at around 4pm. Personally, I think this is a long day for him, especially as he has homework to do when he gets home, and he is a growing 12 year old boy who needs his sleep, and also thrives on having some sport time, whether that is within a sporting team (so therefore needing time to practice) or just some outdoor play time each day. My daughter, having just started school, couldn't actually handle a longer day (hers is 8:50am - 3:10pm), she is just too young, and has been very tired, and needs the unstructured time she currently has when she gets home to unwind (often falling asleep, LOL).



And before anyone argues, well they shouldn't have homework, while homework CAN drive me nuts (and often does), I ALSO find it a great tool for learning how my kids are going at school, rather than waiting for parent-teacher interviews, etc. If my kids had no homework, I wouldn't have a clue what they were learning at school, because if you ask a kid what they did, they have a tendency to reply "nothing".



On that note, I can understand the frustration of this every night for working parents (been there too). One of the options they are investigating in my children's schools is having a homework club, so it is basically an optional additional hour at school. SO therefore, they are looking at extending the school day for those who choose it, but there would be no homework for those kids, because they would have it completed in that extra hour.

[deleted account]

Arguments for Year Round Education
•Students tend to forget a lot during the summer, and shorter vacations might increase retention rates.
•Schools that are not being used in the summer are inefficient.
•Short breaks can provide time for students to receive enrichment education.
•Remediation can occur when it is most needed during the school year.
•Students get bored during the long break of summer.
•It's easier to schedule vacations because not everyone wants to travel at the same time.
•Other countries around the world use this system.
•More students can be accommodated at one school through multi-tracking.
Arguments against Year Round Education
•Studies have been inconclusive to its academic benefits.
•Students are going to forget information whether they are out of school for three weeks or 10. Therefore, teachers will be performing four beginning of the year reviews instead of just one.
•Summer programs such as youth camps suffer.
•Student summer employment will be virtually impossible.
•Many schools are older and do not have air conditioning.
•Band and other extracurricular programs could be hurt because of problems scheduling out of school practices and competitions.
•If the entire school district does not go year round, parents could have students at different schools on different schedules.
•With multi-tracking, parents could have students at the same school on different schedules.
Conclusion
The studies comparing the year round to the traditional schedule are problematic because they are inconclusive. For one thing, it is difficult to isolate the year round calendar as the reason for any positive or negative results. Further, we have to question the agenda of the people performing the surveys. The fact is that the biggest gains were made in schools that were truly trying to improve the overall quality of education. Implementing the year round schedule was just one of their efforts to achieve this end. The question then becomes what part in any educational gains does the schedule take? As with any radical change, thorough studies must be made about its beneficial effects before implementation. If students, teachers, and parents are not supportive of the new schedule, it is bound to fail. Schools that choose to implement multi-tracking systems need to look at their motivations. If they are making their decisions based solely on funding they are quite possibly setting the system up for failure. Schools that are investigating year round education need to decide what they are trying to accomplish and whether a new calendar will move them further towards their goals.

Amie - posted on 02/16/2010

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I'm in Saskatchewan, Canada. Our kids don't have 3 months off in the summer. They have two.
Our school district runs from August 25th - June 25th each year. They go to school from 9:10 a.m. to 3:25 p.m. (some run from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.). Every Thursday is early dismissal for teachers to have a half planning day. Every month, except June, there is at least one long weekend. They get 2 weeks at Christmas, 1 week for winter break in February and 1 week for Easter break in March/April (depending on when Easter is that year). We also have full day kindergarten in at least one of the school's in each area of the city. Pre-K is always half days.

I love how our system is run. Our kids are thriving, our teachers are on the ball. We have few problems. Our school district also goes the extra mile to help students who may be struggling or those who are excelling. They have in motion set up so the kids have a half hour of activity each day (outside of their gym class), they have care partners set up for the younger kids (an older student sits and reads with them twice a week), they have a reading program set up for the entire school my children go to (once they reach certain goals they get X, parents monitor this so the school knows the kids are actually reading), they have outside help come in for support, etc.(the list goes on for awhile) There is a lot our school district and my children's school does for not only the students but the community.

As far as I'm aware (at least in the last 5 years anyway) year round school has never been broached here. They did however try the block system. Which is 2 classes at a time, for 2 months at a time. Half a day doing one subject, other half of the day doing another. The kids did horribly with it and it was gone entirely within 2 years.

What I had as a child was not much different. The schedule is the same but the support workers and programs run through the school's have expanded greatly. I liked how my schooling was set up, it did help at times but was also limited. Since my children have started programs have expanded, there is a lot more involvement, the teachers seem happier as do the students.

While it seems like they have a lot of down time the students are excelling. My oldest has ADHD and it has only taken her 2 years to catch up and start excelling. That's another thing that's different too. The grading system has changed from when I was in school. There's no more A,B,C's it's not meeting, needs work, meeting, excelling. So for our daughter she went from needs work to excelling. Just from the involvement we have with the school, teachers and support workers. They've all helped.

** By support workers too it means anything from outside professionals running programs (such as skills for life) to the T.A's. I have yet to see any classroom in my child's school with less than 2 T.A's... some run as high as 4. It depends on the classroom and what is needed. The ones with more T.A's have more children that need help. These students are not segregated into their own classes and left there. At the very most they have a half day of intensive learning with a specialized teacher. For the most part though the school does what it can to keep them mainstreamed fully. Their goal in the end is to catch problems fast and gets the kids on the right track.

Jenny - posted on 02/16/2010

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I find school to be way too slack. I'd like a system where they go year round with two week breaks in the Spring, Summer and Winter. I'd extend the day by at least an hour too.

Amy - posted on 02/16/2010

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I think year round is better, I've been in the traditional and wished it could have been year round because I got board during the summers. Our school district is traditional, we don't have any year round in our area.

Honestly, I'd rather go on vacation when it's cold out and go somewhere warm, then during the summer when most kids have off. With year round they tend to spread out the vacation time giving you more opportunities to go places different times of the year.

Lindsay - posted on 02/16/2010

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My kids are on a traditional schedule though it's different from the "traditional" schedule I was on in school. They have a week fall break, 2 week Christmas break, a week Spring break and just over a 2 month summer break. When I was in school, we had a longer summer break and no fall break. There is also a school system in our city that goes on a "year round" schedule. They go 9 weeks on, 2 weeks off, then 9 weekson, 4 weeks at Christmas, then 9 weeks on, 2 week spring break, 9 weeks on, and a 6 week summer. As far as which is more beneficial, the traditional school system locally actually has better performance and I wouldn't put my kids in our local year round since they are consistantly scoring lower.

I loved summer breaks as a kid and I prefer them to longer winter breaks for mine. During the winter they are couped up in the house anyway so they might as well go to school and have that structure. In the summer, we spend our days outside being carefree, enjoying the weather, taking trips to the park, swimming, playing outside in the evening since it's daylight so much longer and taking random trips to the ice cream shop. I have such good memories of summers from when I was a kid and I hope mine get the opportunity to build ones as well! =)



P.S. Can anyone tell I'm over this winter shit?? lol

JL - posted on 02/16/2010

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Honestly, I don't care as long as the kids are getting a good education. I have been in tradtitional,year round, and block schedules. I didn't prefer one over the other.

[deleted account]

Wow! It realy interesting to see how many different school schedules there really are out there! I hought it was pretty much just the 2 options (at least here in the states), but I guess I was wrong! :)



Cathy - Schools like to put siblings on the same tracks (so if my daughter was on track C our middle daughter would be put on C when she goes into Kindergarten) unless the parents request something different (some parents actually like having their kids on different tracks because it makes months off less hectic and there are still some times when the whole school is off, plus the two weeks in July when the whole school is off as well). Also, there are 2 teachers and classrooms for each track (where I am, not all year-round schools do) so if there are twins they can be in different classrooms and still be on the same track. Also, where I am the middle schools and high schools are also on track schedules so all siblings can have time off at the same time (once again, not all school districs with year-round are like this, when I was growing up the elementary school was year-round and the middle school and high school were traditional, so my parents had a harder time with vacations when my sister and I were in middle and high school and my brother was in elementary school).

[deleted account]

I like the idea of year round school but here is my issue ... If you have two children in different age groups and they are on differing tracks, doesn't it make it difficult for working parents to plan things like family holidays out of term time?

Lady - posted on 02/16/2010

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In england kids get 6 weeks in summer 2 weeks at easter 2 weeks at christmas and a weeks half term break in october and february and end of may/begining june - it works out they have a holiday about every 5-6 weeks. As a stay at home mum it's fine for me but I know some parents find sorting out childcare rather difficult, but I suppose that would be true no matter when they were off. As much as I love my kids by the end of the 6 weeks at summer I'm very glad they are going back to school and I feel it's long enough for them too - I certinly can't imagine them being off for 3 whole months. That's what people at uni get here which is needed to recover from term time and make enough money to get through the next year.

Jodi - posted on 02/15/2010

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In Australia, breaks vary from state to state a little, but basically, ours is:
- the School year officially starts at the beginning of February.
- 2 weeks break in April, July and October
- Break for Christmas/summer in mid December for 6 weeks.

Private schools may be a little different, having extra weeks in the July and summer holidays. For instance, my son's school has 8 weeks over summer, and 3 weeks in July, with 2 weeks in April and October.

I actually am okay with this schedule. We would have the time off over Christmas/New Year anyway, but I like the fact that the kids are off school in the hottest month of the year.

Isn't this terrible, I don't remember exactly what our holidays where when I was a kid? Yep, it was that long ago, LOL. I know we had 3 terms, with term holidays in May and September, but I don't remember how long the holidays were (whether 2 or 3 weeks), nor how long they were over summer (whether 6 or 8 weeks). All I know is that there were 12 weeks per year of school holidays, and there still are with the new structure.

[deleted account]

I only have experience with traditional. I don't think any school in my area is year-round. I do think year-round would be better. The first six weeks of school tend to be a review of the year before, because the students have lost much of the information over the summer. Sometimes review is even longer than that. Spending 1/4 of the school year in review is not efficient. Imagine how much deeper into subject matter the teachers could go if they had more time.

[deleted account]

The school my kids go to (and all the other public schools here) was 'modified traditional'... which had a week off in October, 3 weeks for Christmas, 2 for Spring Break, and 7 off for summer. In addition to a few extra 3 day weekends. I LOVED IT!! Unfortunately, too many parents of kids in summer schools complained since summer school is 5 weeks... their kids were only getting 2 weeks of summer.



Now we're switching to shorter Christmas and Spring breaks and 9 weeks in the summer. I'm not going to like that. My girls NEED the structure (and breaks from each other) that school provides them. With 9 weeks off I think we're all going to lose our minds.

[deleted account]

Okay, to respond with my opinions:



Do you all think the traditional schedule (with 3 solid months off for the summer) is better? Worse? Why?

~ I think year-round is WAY better that traditional! We love the fact that we get vacation time with our daughter to do things that are normally harder to do or more crowded during "regular" vacation times given by schools with the traditional schedule. Another reason we really like it is it gives the child(ren) less chance of loosing the knowledge they gained during their time "on" track. Kids lose a lot more from 3 solid months off that they lose with just 1 month off, and it takes longer to gain back that knowledge before they can move on when there is more time off (in our opinion at least. This is what we have observed with our daughter and I'd be interested in finding out if studies have been done on this idea... I might have to go do some research to see what I can find).



What do you all have in your school districts?

~ Year-round



Do you like the scheduling your school has (whether it's traditional or year-round)? Why?

~ Oh yes! We love it! :)



What did you have as a child?

~ My eementary school was on a traditional schedule until I started 2nd grade, then the school changed to year-round. I was on "yellow" track, which had off August, December and April and we loved it!



Did you like what you had as a child? Why?

~ Yes I did! It was great getting vacations more often and it was also really nice to have vacation time when we could go do things (i.e. Disneyland) without the crowds that are there during "regular" vacation times. I was actually very happy to find out the school district we moved into had the year-round schedule as I remembered all the fun I had on it as a child!

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