DO YOU KNOW HOW
THIS WILL EFFECT YOUR FAMILY AND THE COMMUNITY?
"In 1993, all but
one of the 544 schools in the Los Angeles school district on a single-track
calendar voted to abandon the concept. (See Education Week, June 9,
What is Year-Round School?
restructures the school calendar, eliminating the traditional summer vacation
and scheduling shorter, more frequent breaks. The basic calendar does not
increase the number of days in the school year. A typical Single-Track calendar
operates on a 45-15 plan, 45 days in class, followed by 15 vacation days.
Summer vacation is reduced to 6 to 8 weeks and may occur at a time not
convenient for family activities or vacations.
Why Do School Systems
School?* May be good for
* May lessen review time.
* May improve student and teacher
* May reduce "burn-out" in
students and teachers.
* May improve discipline.
Facts About Year-Round
SchoolYear-Round School is
not a new concept and has been attempted by various school systems since the
turn of the century. While some form of Year-Round School has been tried by
many communities, the acceptance of Year-Round School has been less than
spectacular. Most have found
that this sort of change in the school calendar did not improve the quality of
education and most have returned to the traditional calendar.
concerned with YRS and its effect on education
Reasons why follow:
Year-Round School does not
education.* Since 1980, 95%
of schools trying Year-Round School have returned to a TRADITIONAL calendar.
Thus, they have changed their calendar twice and had to suffer the disruption,
frustration, and wasted time that this entails. Why are we in such a hurry to
learn the same lesson?
* Research concerned with standardized
testing shows that Year-Round School has no statistically significant impact on
* Studies have also shown that student
and teacher "burn-out" often increase with Year-Round School.
Year-Round School does not
lessen review time after
breaks.* Proponents of
Year-Round School state that shorter breaks lessen learning loss and review
studies have long shown that the only measurable summer learning loss occurs in
the first 2 to 3 weeks.
* The review times that follow the
longer more frequent breaks in Year-Round School, are greater than this
"forgetting time", increasing the number of times for forgetting
during the year.
Year-Round School may not be
of YRS in the USA
* Many school districts find that
Year-Round School is more expensive.
* Many districts reject the calendar
after taking a close look at the potential costs.
* While proponents may suggest
potential savings with a Year-Round School calendar, these savings often do not
materialize. Costs for Year-Round School from schools across the country show
* In Tempe, AZ, a high school
experienced an increase of $157,000 per year in operating costs. Similar
increases have been reported by other Arizona schools using a Year-Round
* In San Diego, 27 elementary schools
on Year-Round School lost $1.4 million caused by an increase in average daily
absenteeism between July and September. This absenteeism occurred during the
traditional calendar summer vacation.
* There is little down-time available
to make necessary building repairs with a Single-Track calendar. This can cause
significant disruption of classes while building and repairs occur during
school and can also shorten the life of the school itself by as much as 50%.
* There are increased
"start-up" and "shut-down" costs for the increased number
of terms during the year.
Academic Improvement Concerns
Impact in the USA
* YRS creates more, longer breaks in
the school year, increasing times for student forgetting.
* More "last days of class"
and "first days of class" results in less instruction..
* Resources available to expend on
major educational improvements are limited by the increased costs of Year-Round
* Year-Round School advocacy statements
claim improved test scores, improved retention rates, increased graduation
rates and lower absenteeism.
Numerous research studies do NOT
support these claims.
* Investing in Year-Round School will
exhaust resources desperately needed for far more beneficial reform efforts.
* Relevant factors such as the current
use of instructional time, class size, curriculum, expectations, attitudes, and
individual students' needs must be evaluated where problems exist.
* Schools being used as models for
Year-Round School are ones whose test scores fell well below state averages
before implementing the calendar change.
* Following the paths of highly
successful schools (like Vestavia Hills, or Mountain Brook, which are not on
YRS) would be imminently more sound. than following Vincent, AL, which the YRS
* Sports, and other school activities,
would have to continue through the multiple breaks between terms (which
wouldn't be breaks at all for the students involved in those sports and
* Time to wind down during the summer
and engage in educational, sporting and family activities would be cut in half.
Concerns* Increased cost of
air conditioning during the summer months; A/C in buses in July?
* Danger of dehydration and
overexposure to heat and sun would be an unnecessary risk for students during
physical education and recess periods.
* Lack of shaded structures for recess.
Childcare & Custody
Concerns* Parents may have
a difficult time finding childcare the multiple breaks between terms.
* Difficult to find adequate daycare
for only 3 weeks at a time. May increase the number of latch-key kids.
* Divorced parents who have joint
custody of children often have to send their children to their non-custodial
parent during the summer months.
Concerns* Year-Round School
will disrupt traditional family and community activities.
* Common vacations for all family
members are more difficult to schedule.
* Traditional summer programs are not
* Extra-curricular activities like
scouts, camp, swim team, baseball, etc., would diminish or terminate due to
* Community functions are often
scheduled in the summer.
* Parks and Recreation Departments
concentrate primarily on scheduling their activities only during the summer
* Most vacation places and job
vacations and families are geared to summer activities
* Economic and personal traditions of a
9-month calendar would be difficult to change.
Concerns* Very difficult to
work on an advanced degree without summer vacation.
* Loss of extra income provided by
* Sustained free time to develop
creativity, resourcefulness, and independence will be fragmented.
Concerns* Problems with
late enrollments for move-ins may be of particular concern in Auburn which has
a highly mobile population.
* May be difficult to transfer in or
out of school.
* Regular and yearly maintenance may be
more difficult to schedule.
* Continuity of special services may be
more difficult in Year-Round School.
* Significantly greater costs to
implement a single-track schedule.
School is experimental. It lacks compelling research that would justify
accepting the disadvantages that would occur for students, teachers, and their
families. In order for our board members and our community to make an informed
decision we must be given thoroughly researched and critically analyzed
information. As parents and concerned community members we need to:
* Be thorough about getting all the
facts, not rushed.
* Contact the school board for dates
and times of the YRS Committee and subcommittee meetings that are scheduled to
discuss Year-Round School
* Telephone, write and e-mail the
principals, superintendent, the School Board and City Council expressing your
concerns. (Contact the newspapers and other media)
Resources Concerned with YRS
to contact about your concerns
Schedule for upcoming
of the Stop Year-Round Education Concerned Citizens' Group
the STOP YEAR-ROUND SCHOOL
300 N. Dean Rd. P.O. Box
5172Auburn, AL 36830-5045 Tel: