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View Diary: A Response to TeacherKen and Dailykos Community (357 comments)

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  •  The Year-Round Option (4.00)
    One working option that seems to work is 'year round schools'

    While many consider that terrible, a period of 9 weeks on, 3 weeks off seems to work very well, with the 4 extra weeks inserted as a 1 week break in the fall and spring, and a week at Christmas and in the summer.

    Several local schools have tried this in Elementary and Middle school as an optional crowding solution. There are 4 groups of kids on a staggered schedule, one of the groups is on its 3 weeks vacation at any one moment, meaning the school handles 33% more students than if everyone was on the same schedule, the exception is everyone gets a winter break (of 3-5 weeks) at Christmas-New years.

    Teachers describe better knowledge retention (Much of the first month of teaching after the end of summer is relearning what was forgotten in the 3 months of vacation).  Parents, after initial objections, find the regular 3 week vacations easer to work around, allowing them to do thinks like long trips for vacations in the winter, spring or fall, rather than summer.  Kidsa see the 3 weeks at a time as a much closer goal, and this seems to avoid 'summer fever' at the end of a school year.

    In other words, in spite of objections, the idea of year round schools actually WORKS.  And the students in them, attending the same number of days as those with a long summer vacation, tend to learn better.

    We have no desire to offend you -- unless you are a twit!

    by ScrewySquirrel on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 09:07:17 AM PDT

    •  it is done all over the world. maybe it is time (none)
      that some of our parents wake up and smell the mess.
      •  In terms of instructional time.. (none)
        recent studies indicate that US teachers spend more time on academic instruction than teachers in Japan or most European countries. US teachers also have less planning time.

        Don't Panic - Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

        by slatsg on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 10:05:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The staggered schedule (none)
      can be a nightmare for families...its also very difficult in terms of childcare.

      I happen to believe that maybe we do need a longer school year...but lets keep the schedules the same for everyone.

    •  Husband works in a year-round school (none)
      For children with behavioral / emotional issues.

      He can attest to the benefits that you state with the children he serves, and it's not bad for us, either.  He's in a total burn-out job, and he uses the breaks to recharge his batteries so he's as effective as possible.  

      It works out great for us, too.  We can more easily schedule vacations, home maintenance work, etc. since there's more blocks of time to work with.

    •  est data on year-round schools not encouraging (none)
      and it may rob children of something that is quite important  -- frree time.  If in fact we are attempting to teach children to become independent life-long learners, then they need time to think, and play, and be creative, and read, and do all of this without being directed to do so by adults.

      Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH!

      by teacherken on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 01:39:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Kids NEED Summertime (none)
      I've been involved with a wonderful summer camp since I was 10. I learned more at camp - about life, about making friends, about sportsmanship, about working together as a team, about meeting new people, etc. - than I ever learned in school. I gained skills, I gained confidence, I LEARNED HOW TO LEARN, and i was much more ready for school at the end of the summer than I could possibly have been if i spent my time any other way.

      Frankly - letting summer camps run all year long might be better for kids than having school run all year long. Since that doesn't sound competitive, it'll never happen, but i seriously believe that we should learn from the example of summer camp - kids are happy, engaged, active, and learning practically all day long. Why can't schools be like that?

      "I Have Sworn Upon the Altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." - Thomas Jefferson

      by AikidoPilgrim on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 06:37:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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