Year-round school is normal in countries like Japan and Australia.
Kids in America go to school for approximately 180 days.
The national health crisis resulted in severe learning loss for children across the US.
Districts are now looking into making the switch to year-round school.
(NewsReady.com) – The United States is known for its universities across the world. Students come to the States from all over to study at higher learning institutions. Education in the country’s public grade schools is not nearly as good as the US lags behind other nations when it comes to test scores.
Students in America are struggling even more in the wake of the national health crisis. Some states are taking action and changing their schedules to help turn education around.
Twenty-five states currently allow districts to create calendars requiring students to be in school all year, rather than the current average of about 180 days. Eleven of them are encouraging districts to make the switch, even paying them to do it.
According to Fox News Digital, the number of schools that created year-round schedules increased from 2.5% in 2018 to 4% in 2020. The shift impacted more than 3 million students.
Eight years ago, Mississippi’s Corinth School District became the first in its state to make the switch. Now, 28 other districts have also taken the plunge. Corinth Superintendent Lee Childress said he thinks a modified calendar helped blunt the impact of the health crisis on his district. He explained that when there’s a kindergarten student who “doesn’t know their colors or numbers, the best time” to help them is right then, “rather than falling behind during the school year.”
What About Breaks?
There are many different ways to break up the school year to avoid burnout. According to US News, the most popular option is to adopt a 45/15 schedule. That means kids would go to school for 45 days, then they would receive a 15-day break. The schedule allows for four 15-day breaks throughout the year.
States Studying Program
Washington introduced the Balanced Calendar Initiative to study year-round schedules for students. Forty school districts in the state received grants to study the program. In South Carolina, about one-fourth of the 73 school districts have switched to a more balanced schedule, instead of the traditional school year.
In May, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) signed HB 891 into law, creating a four-year pilot program to study the effectiveness of year-round school in the Sunshine State. State Sen. Linda Stewart (D) explained that when kids start a new school year after summer break, they have to review everything they learned the year before. She also pointed to problems with summer daycare for some parents. She hopes the program will help ease those issues.
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