What is the Effect on the Education of Students When a District has Year-Round Schooling
Year-Round Education (YRE)
In year-round schooling or education, the lengthy three months summer vacations are broken down into shorter breaks throughout the year. This results in students going to school for stretches of seven to nine weeks. This followed by term exams then a two-week short break then school again. Many schools opt for a year-round calendar because it keeps the students highly engaged, and the learning process is on-going. Moreover, teachers are able to go through the curriculum and the syllabus effectively. They don't have to rush through. Plus, with assignments and short tests in between, students are able to do better. Schools following YRE schedule either have a single-track or a multi-track calendar. In a single-track calendar, the students and teachers go on vacation at the same time whereas, in a multi-track calendar, it's different, for example, the administrators may be on vacation, while the students and teachers have to attend school. In the multi-track calendar, schools are able to take in more students. Educationists and experts alike have voiced their support and concerns over YRE. While many are of the view that it drains out students and teachers, they agree with the fact that it has a positive impact on the overall academic performance.
The Positive Effect
• Ease Overcrowding - in a multi-track calendar, schools are able to make use of the building and empty classrooms. They take in more students and thus, space is not wasted.
• Reduced Costs -the school board doesn't have to look for more teachers or tutors; doesn't have to buy new furniture, teaching aids and textbooks, etc.
• Improves Student Achievement - students get more time with the teachers. They have more time to do their assignments and catch up with remedial work and short tests.
• No summer reading loss - teachers don't experience a difficult time when their students get back from breaks and vacations. The students retain what had been taught.
• Schedule Family Vacations - families can plan out in advance how and where to spend the vacations. Parents get to spend time with their children. It strengthens the family bond.
• Global Educational Experience - many countries have YRE. Students will be on par with their peers, the world over. They will not feel left behind.
The Negative Effect
• Burden - due to the irregular cycle of holidays associated with YRE, many parents have to reschedule their breaks and vacations.
• Disorganisation - teachers experience discomfort in the multi-track YRE as the classrooms, and other school facilities are going to be used by a different group. It also limits their training and development. It is due to short breaks.
• Not much time for extracurricular activities -with YRE, most schools and administrators find it difficult to allocate time for extracurricular activities. They need for coordination and advanced planning to carry it through.
• Not time for maintenance -schools don't much time for maintenance of facilities. It is the reason why the facilities of schools are not up to date and in dire need of maintenance.
• Disruptive Breaks - even though the YRE breaks are short, they are frequent and disruptive. It catches the students and teachers off guard.
- Small kids get irritated - first timers and small kids get easily irritated in YRE. They don't get the needed attention and space for growth and development. It gives rise to behavioural issues.
• Not much time for part-time jobs - students who want to help out their parents by applying for part-time jobs feel the crunch. The YRE might limit or constraint them.
Implementing YRE is not easy. Schools and administrators are required to be on their toes for it. They have to hold meetings and discussions with the board members and parents to have it passed. Plus, they have to assess whether students will be able to adopt it. The schools have to be in touch with the ministry and relevant higher authority members to get their views on it. They have to develop a policy and work according to it. A simple mistake or misunderstanding can spoil the whole set up. The schools also have to look into things such as food for the students (school canteen), salary for the teachers and administrators and set up a budget. They see the transportation services (routes and a number of available vehicles; whether they need more vehicles), special classes and events are redesigned the timetable and working schedule of the teachers. Schools and teachers need to coordinate with all the members to make this work effectively.