Year-round schooling (YRS) has been present from the 1800s. YRS first appeared in urban areas, because they were not tied to the agriculture cycle. The first towns that implemented YRS were as follows: Chicago, Boston, Washington D.C., Cleveland, Buffalo, and Detroit. These towns had schools sessions for 48 or more weeks at a time. The types of school schedules that were used were the 12-1 (12 weeks in school with 1 week break between the 12 weeks, which was more popular) and 12-4 (4 weeks off in August and school ran continuous after). The first summer school was introduced in 1865 at the First Church of Boston, MA. The reasoning was to keep children occupied. In 1916 there would be 200 elementary schools offering summer school. In 1971, a survey showed that 84% of the surveyed educational authorities predicted that all United States schools would be year-round within 15 years. In 1973, states that provided year-round schooling options were: Washington, Nevada, California, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, Vermont, New Kentucky, and Missouri. By 1975, Oregon, Wyoming, Montana, Ohio, South Carolina, North Carolina, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Louisiana, Texas, and Tennessee adopted YRS for at least one school, however Vermont dropped YRS.
Types of Year Round Education
Three types of year round schooling exist: single track, multitrack, and extended year. Most schools are on either a single track or multitrack system; the foremost difference between the two is that single track schedules allow all students to attend school at the same time, while multitrack systems divide students and teachers into various tracks with different instructional times and vacations. Two of the most common schedule plans are the 60-20 and the 45-15, both of which can be used in either single or multitrack programs. The 60-20 schedule keeps students in school for sixty days with three twenty-day vacations, and the 45-15 plan provides students with forty-five days of instruction and four fifteen-day vacations. Variations on these schedules, such as 60-15 and 45-10, allow students one more break during the school year. In addition, the "Concept 6" plan divides the school year into six portions, which permits a 50% additional capacity over a traditional calendar, as students attend two of the parts and are off for one portion. Due to the reduced instructional time (10% less days over the course of a calendar year), instructional periods are lengthened to compensate.
The single track schedule is the most prominent of the three types. These schools do not add additional days to their school year, but instead they incorporate shorter breaks throughout the year. Thus, a single track schedule simply arranges the traditional school year into different school days and break days. Critics often analyze both the academic and financial effects of this common form of year-round school, but according to Charles Ballinger, executive director emeritus of the National Association for Year-Round Education (NAYRE), a single track schedule "doesn't cost any more or less [than a traditional school schedule]…it's pretty much a wash financially."
A multitrack schedule divides students into multiple tracks so that one group goes to school while another group takes vacation. Multitrack schedules reportedly bring many benefits to schools that use them. Some of these schools utilize multiple tracks to aid specific groups of students. Some schools place all grades of bilingual or gifted and talented classes on the same track so that all of these students attend school at the same time. Some of these schools utilize such a schedule for financial reasons: schools in Wake County, N.C., have four tracks in order to accommodate more students without having to build more schools. This school system reports that for every three multitrack schools, one less school must be built.
The extended year schedule can act as either a single track or multitrack, but it adds 15 to 20 days to the total school year. President Obama has called for school administrations to lengthen school years in order to compete with students worldwide, and Education Secretary Arne Duncan supports extended school years as well.
In Favor of Year-Round School
Many businesses favor Year-Round School, because there is less competition for students trying to get jobs on their vacations since not all students have the same vacation time. Businesses also find it easier to provide jobs on a year round basis instead of having many in the summer for students. Year-round schools also allow for students to graduate at different times, allowing for a decrease in unemployment when compared to all students graduating together and trying to get the few jobs that are open during that time. Businesses also don't have the trouble of having a large volume of employees trying to take off the same vacation time for children getting out of school for summer, since the children would have different vacations. Schools that adopt YRS are also better for industries that have a high volume of people in a short amount of time, because the different vacations allow for students to be open for employment more readily and for vacationers to be more spread out instead of all at once. Tourist and recreation businesses are some industries that would benefit from having YRS because of the reasons in the previous sentence.
Effects on Students
Several different studies have been conducted to learn more about the attitudes of students who attend year-round schools. The majority of these studies show that students' attitudes towards school did significantly increase as they spent more time on a year-round schedule. Students who attend year-round school say that their calendar is more balanced than their peers who have a typical school calendar.
Students who attend year-round schools typically do as well as or slightly better in school than their peers who attend a traditionally scheduled school.
At-risk students are those who come from a low-income family, have a disability, are of an ethnic minority, or are influenced by something else that may cause them to perform poorly in school. In 1994, a study of three year-round schools showed a substantial gain in academic achievement for at-risk, low performing students. More frequent, short breaks provide struggling students more time for help. These breaks can be used for remedial courses, tutoring, and enrichment, if needed.
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction researched the achievement differences between year-round and traditional-calendar using data from more than 345,000 North public schools. It was found that student achievement in year-round schools was statistically the same as it was in traditional schools. Another study compared the mathematics performance of 44 students in 5th and 6th grades on a year-round track with that of 40 students on a traditional track in the same school, which found no achievement gap.
A study conducted by the Ohio State University found that, over the course of a full year, students showed no significant improvement in reading and math scores in year-round schools compared to those students whose were in schools that followed the traditional academic calendar. Year-round schools do not add more school days to the 180 standard academic calendar. The total number of school days and vacation days remains unchanged, but instead is distributed throughout the year. Thus, students are not gaining more instructional days.
The state of California's Department of Education claims that year-round schools' third-graders had an average increase of 9.5% on standardized tests and 13.3% in reading scores.
Smarter students would have the ability to graduate faster by being enrolled during their vacation times to allow for lessons. Class sizes are reduced, creating better learning environments. Another plus for students is that instead of failing an entire year of school, a student would only fail 45 days on a 45-15 plan, making it so that the student doesn't fall behind as much as a traditional school calendar.
Effect on Teachers and Administration
Studies show that even though around 50% of parents are in favor of the year-round schedule before it is implemented, almost 80% are in favor of it after the first year. Parents and families are able to still arrange daycare as well as vacations. The year round schedule provides more opportunities for family vacations. This schedule can also save families money because they are able to take vacations during off-peak times. Teachers would also be able to increase their income by teaching days of class on their vacations. Some teachers also favor Year-Round School, because they can have flexible contracts, as in different vacation times.
Communities would save on costs since buildings that normally go unused for 2–3 months of the year would be put to use and old buildings would be closed to save costs. Less text books and equipment would be required, since fewer students would be attending at any point in time. The same idea applies to teachers, being that with fewer students in school fewer teachers are needed for the smaller student population.
Against Year Round Schooling
If schools are open for longer the operating and maintenance costs may increase up to 10 percent. These costs may add up and in turn interfere with budgets for other programs that are already struggling with funding such as the arts, sports and other extra-curricular activities that are state funded.
With today's current economic state, students often have to save up their own money to be able to attend college. This means they often will seek summer or part-time jobs to do so. Year round schooling may create difficulties for teens to be able to maintain part-time or summer job to save up their money.
Effects on Students
There is research that suggests year-round schools have positive effects on students who are at risk for academic problems, including those from underprivileged backgrounds and those who are poor performers in school.
Students with attention learning disabilities may experience difficulties with longer school days. Younger elementary students who are not psychologically fully developed may not see any additional benefit to extended days. This in turn may increase behavioral issues within the classroom.
Students that attend year round schooling may miss out on experiences such as summer camps. 
After school activities may experience conflicts with longer school days. They may also experience budgeting issues with extended schooling sessions into the year.
Another problem that students would face would be being distracted by other students or friends that are on their vacation, which would affect their grades.
Many people argue that students get bored during summer vacations, when there is much less activity and stimulation, so attending school for a year would be a benefit to them. However, many children need a break from school for time to relax and if they have to attend school for an entire year, they will have negative attitudes about learning and their education. Also, many school districts also do not have air conditioning, which can make for difficult learning opportunities.
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