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Year-round school might sound weird to most of us moms, who look back fondly at the breezy summers we had as kids. But after seeing the documentary Waiting for Superman, and finding out that kids unlearn quite a bit of information over the summer, I don’t think it’s so far-fetched, after all.
In most school districts with a year-round schedule, it’s about two months on, then one month off. If you’re totally against the idea, don’t worry too much: Only about 10 percent of school districts are likely to adopt the idea by 2012, and there’s no nationwide plan to do this right now (though, it’s important to note that President Barack Obama is onboard with year-round schools).
What’s great about it? It could level the playing field for kids in different socioeconomic groups: Studies show that poorer children lose the most information during the summer, mostly because they can’t afford tutoring and summer camps. Students in districts with year-round schools are doing better on standardized tests than kids who have a traditional summer-off schedule. And it's more efficient: Teachers wouldn’t have to spend so much time reviewing last year’s material, and high schoolers are less likely to drop out.
What is not so great? We wouldn’t get to go on long, fun (and often educational) summer trips with our kids. Overseas vacations to visit relatives or learn about a new culture would be affected the most. Summer jobs, volunteer work and camps -- all ways kids grow and learn -- could be eliminated. And what about childcare? Would new options appear for those one-month-off periods of time, or would many working moms be left desperate to find care providers? Of course, kids seem to hate the idea, but what do you think?
Would you want your kid's school to adopt a year-round schedule? Why or why not? Chime in below!