Should School Be in Session Year Round?

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Minimizing the risks of student and teacher burnout, rotating classroom schedules due to space challenges and optimizing use of facilities are common motives for year-round schools. Loss of family vacation time in the summers, difficulty in scheduling extracurricular activities and juggling schedules are common arguments against it.

Studies are inconclusive as to whether year-round schools strengthen student academic performance. However, one goal of year-round schools is to eliminate the common loss of knowledge that students experience during summer breaks. Students and teachers also get more frequent breaks through the year on a year-round schedule, which may minimize burnout from long stretches of academic rigor.

Schools with large populations also use year-round flexibility to schedule classes thoughtfully. Using a school throughout the year also keeps the facility from sitting unused or lightly used for a few months out of the year, which maximizes the utility of the building.

Summers are a common vacation time for families. Thus, students and parents worry about losing family vacations and other planned activities with the loss of a summer break. It is also difficult for districts to schedule sports and other activities if they are on a year-round schedule and surrounding district's aren't. Parents also have concerns that the frequent breaks in a year-round schedule make it difficult to find effective childcare.