What Teens Think About Year-Round School

It was during a summer family vacation, while visiting relatives in California, that I discovered the novel concept of year-round education (YRE). We arrived at my uncle’s home around noon for lunch. Expecting to chat with my cousins, I asked about their whereabouts. I was informed Julia would be home around two o’clock from school and that my older cousin, Gabriel, had a job after school so he would not be joining us until later. That just threw me for a loop. School? During summer vacation?

I found out from talking with my cousins afterwards that their schedule allowed some flexibility with each module. This session, school began at 10 a.m. and finished at 1:30 p.m. I assessed the value of being able to sleep later, an important part of life during my growing teen years. It all sounded pretty good to me.

The majority of American teens attend school from August until May, with summers off. They enjoy the long break and believe it enables them to rejuvenate for the extended school year. Those students who attend year-round would argue differently. It is a hard call to make for administration.

In order to help students retain learning, schools have implemented year-round schooling. The most common calendar follows a 45-15 schedule, where students are in school 45 days and off 15 (or three weeks). Students still attend school 180 days, same as traditional scholars.

There are approximately 3,181 schools in the US offering a year-round curriculum This is about 10% (2 million) of children nation wide. Outside the US, 49% of foreign countries support year-round education. Of interest, the drop-out rate for YRE is 2% while the drop-out rate for non-YRE schools is 5%. (source: statisticbrain.com). I have constructed below how the YRE calendar year differs from the traditional as a visual image reference.

I interviewed approximately 38 students, who attend a traditional school calendar year, on the idea of having school all year round. I have selected a few statements to share with readers below. Most students, as you can guess, were against changing the success and history of their school year calendar. Some were open to the positive value of change.

Although most were pretty serious in their responses, a few were candid in giving their opinion. “Snarky” is what we call being sarcastic these days and there were a couple who followed this line of retort. Teens will be teens!

I believe that schools across American should not be open year-round. With schools open year-round more pressure can be put upon a student. Summer vacation gives students time to relax and a stress-free break. Studies show school does increase chances of depression and anxiety in teens. Year-round school would increase these chances. Year-round school could also hurt the economy. There would be no “back-to-school” sales, which means no extra income during this time of year. Many students also obtain summer jobs, teaching them responsibility. Summer vacation is necessary for our children to be happy and to become well adjusted young adults. —Megan

  • I believe that kids should have the right to be kids. When you were a kid didn’t you dream of summer? No school? Every kid longs for a long break when the work finally pays off. School in the summer help kids — doing stuff they love or exploring new adventures, but it (YRE) also means that parents would be paying more money if their children go year round. —Grace
  • I would rather finish one entire school year and have the entire three months, then to be year-long in school and have breaks in between. I wouldn’t want to be in a year long school because I wouldn’t want to feel like I’d be stuck in school forever. I think students would focus better knowing they only need to finish nine months of school and then they can have a long break to look forward to. —Gabriel
  • I disagree. I think children need a break. I mean if you put them in a year-round school I wouldn’t be surprised if the suicide rate was much higher. I support the traditional school calendar because it has worked for centuries. —Kevin
  • I think going to school all year around is a very bad idea. If schools do that, students would be so depressed. They wouldn’t even be motivated to finish the year because there is no end of the year. Their brains would be fried and everyone would be dead. Having breaks allows family vacation and are easier for parents to get off work. —Alyssa

I support the idea of having a year-round school schedule. This country needs less fun time and more learning. The more time children have out of school just increases the amount of bad things that could happen. But school would change that lifestyle for students.In fact, I believe there should be school every day. Families are too nice to their kids and they are living life too easily. The harder life is for students — the better. —Tiy

  • If you think that children should have to endure school year round without a summer, then someone needs to take you to a mental ward. I wouldn’t wish nonstop school on my worst enemy. If schools required students to go all year — with very few breaks, we’d all be zombies! Do you want exhausted, stressed, and cranky corpses walking around your beautiful campus? No, you don’t. Preserve this generation! —Kayla
  • We should not have school year round; it would be pushing many kids too far. We are just teenagers who need and deserve a few months to not worry about school and to live our lives when we are young. No year-round school! – —Brianne
  • I do not agree with year-round school. If you want school all year round you can do home school. Better yet, MOVE TO CALIFORNIA! —Austin
  • We need to stay on the same break schedule. Actually, we need to have less school day and more breaks in general. Students need to relax and go on vacation. —Alex
  • Imagine you are lying out in the sun. The sound of waves in your ears and beautiful sand all around you. A beach umbrella over your head. Sound peaceful? Too bad you can’t fully enjoy it because in the back of your mind you are stressing about an English paper due in the morning. No, with year-round school — you will never truly have that break from school and the relief it brings. —Giselle
  • I like the idea of going to school year round, as long as we have half-days. So there wouldn’t be a huge break for you to forget everything. You have more time in the morning to get ready or stay up later for homework. —Hunter
  • It is a proven fact that the long summer break we have in Florida actually lessens students “smartness” because they do not do any kind of schooling or learning activity all summer long. It is also harder for students to get back in the rhythm after a really long break. The longest break should be three weeks. —Christian
  • I would suggest continuing a normal school calendar with a switch. In other words, school time should be held from February to October. The “summer” breaks held in the cooler Florida weather: November, December, and January. It is excruciatingly hot in Florida but the weather is better for school. —Marco
  • Many schools in California have changed their school calendars so that they are now year round, starting at ten to four. I agree this should be everywhere because the students will get more sleep and will have more breaks. They will be healthier and will learn more throughout their life. So school should be year round. —Ben