Yes, We Should At Least Give the Year-Round School Idea a Chance

It isn’t easy for me to say this, and many of my fellow kids may vote me out as a Benedict Arnold, but Colorado teacher Kathy Kullback has a good point: Maybe there’s something to the year-round school idea.

What? No more summer vacation, you argue? Ms. Kullback writes:

As a special educator, I tried to sign up special education students with generalized learning disabilities reading below grade level for summer school, but soon learned that the only special education students who take an extended year are cognitively disabled. I was advised that I not extend my students’ school year because the esteem issues associated with students of average cognitive ability attending summer school with students with cognitive disabilities is too severe. Then why not offer different classes for the learning disabled student?

If year round classes are good for cognitively disabled students, it seems to me that year round classes would give regular education students that needed boost of continuity, and aid in their achieving academic success. It just makes sense.

Year-round school usually means more overall days in the classroom. But just because you give up the long summer vacation doesn’t mean you’re in school every week of the year. You trade the long break for several shorter breaks at different times — which helps to fix the problem of forgetting so much that was learned during the long months of June, July, and August.

I’m only saying we shouldn’t dismiss the idea of year-round school out of hand. If we are going to empower parents with more education choices — and we should — let’s also empower principals and local school leaders to implement the year-round school model, if they believe it will benefit the students in the long run.

Hopefully, this post doesn’t end up getting me classified as a traitor to child-kind.