CON: Are You Down for Year-Round?

When you look out at the diligent students attending Diamond Bar High School, you will probably notice a consistent pattern in their appearance: the dazed, I’m-completely-burned-out look. To relieve students from the side effects of the rigors of school, the wonderful three-month long respite we call summer break swoops in. Despite summer vacation’s great necessity for the health of students, however, several states have eradicated this rest period by establishing year-round schools.

Year-round schooling, as the name indicates, is a system in which school days are evenly spread out through the year.  Schedules may be divided into a cycle varying from six to nine weeks of school, with one to two week breaks. Though proponents may say attending school year round provides multiple advantages, such as preventing “summer learning loss,” there are even greater drawbacks to this educational system.

First, the cost to maintain a year-round school is hefty, almost 10 percent higher than that of the normal system. In Tempe, Arizona, a high school reported an increase of $157,000 in maintenance costs after it switched from traditional schooling to year-round schooling. In addition, an exorbitant amount of money may also be lost if students fail to abide by the scheduling. This occurred in San Diego, when 27 year-round elementary schools saw an increase in truancy between July and September, a period in which traditional schools have a long summer vacation, resulting in a loss of $1.4 million. All in all, many American schools already struggling financially will lack the additional funds necessary to maintain year-round classes.

Another hassle of year-round schooling is the option of a multi-tracking system, which is the separation of the student body into four divisions: three attend school while one is on vacation. Though this can increase student enrollment by 25 percent because one group can fill in the spot of the other on break, families with siblings on different rotations will struggle to find time to go on trips or spend time together.

Finally, the biggest argument against year-round schooling is that few schools have stuck with it. In fact, since 1980, 95 percent of the schools that changed to year-round schooling ultimately returned to the traditional scheduling.

Although there is an inevitable academic forgetfulness in the first few weeks after summer vacation, students eventually accustom themselves to the new school year. Some courses also assign summer homework to make the transition into classes easier.

Teenagers deserve a long break from our textbooks to devote time to interests outside of school. Even though the week-long winter and spring breaks provide a temporary relief, there is nothing quite as satisfying as leaving school in late May knowing we will not have to come back until August.