Should School Be in Session Year Round?


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.