Counterpoint: Should students be required to attend school for the entire year?

Sydney Rosenthal, A&E Assistant Editor

Summer break: A concept associated with beach days, fun with friends, and High School Musical 2. As an integral part of our education system, summer break is an important time for students to relax as well as to pursue interests that they do not have time for during the regular school term.

The debate over the length of school terms has existed for centuries, and the summer break was first implemented when our country was more reliant upon agriculture. Today, most students and teachers throughout America look forward to summer vacation, a time when they can kick up their feet and forget about the stress of the school year. Many schools around the world, including those in America, have a September-to-June school system. The extended summer vacation gives students the opportunity to relax without having to worry about papers due at 11:59 on Turnitin.

Some European countries have school year-round. This system implements more frequent, shorter breaks in between terms, rather than a two-month summer vacation. This actually makes students more stressed, as their shorter breaks are still dominated by schoolwork. It is only over summer vacation that students can truly relax.

“I couldn’t imagine school all year round,” said junior Davida Harris. “I love spending time with my friends and family over the summer.

It would be incredibly difficult to go to school five days a week, every week. Students would have much more homework, assignments and tests, which would cause more stress for students and teachers alike.

Contrary to popular belief, teachers do accomplish a lot outside of school, as it is teachers who calculate our grades and help us maximize our academic potential. They grade papers, write out lesson plans and even tutor on weekends to help students succeed. Students are pressured with a lot of work, and teachers can be equally overwhelmed with work. Both students and teachers need a break from the school atmosphere and summer is the perfect way to escape the madness of stress and work.

Were schools to change from the current system to a year-round school system, students and teachers would be negatively impacted. Currently, the school year is about 180 days long. While this theoretically would not change, and students would be in the school for the same amount of days without a consecutive summer break, its purpose as a break would not be as effective.

Students often take the time over summer break to pursue things that they otherwise would not have the time for. For example, once students are old enough to apply for working papers, it is very common for them to get summer jobs. These summer jobs are important tastes of real world experiences that can be pivotal to enhancing proficiency of personal financing. Moreover, many of these jobs can be extended to the school year, giving students valuable opportunities to continue making money.

Another popular summer option is to take classes at a college or institution. This may be because the student wants to attend that college or because it is a class that is not offered at Schreiber during the school year. Without the summer break, perhaps students would not be able to pursue specific interests if the corresponding classes don’t exist at Schreiber.

Many believe that summer break is an ineffective concept because students will forget what they learned the previous year over the two months. However, summer break is beneficial to students’ mental health, as a year-round school year would increase stress. Although having school year-round would cause a continuous learning environment for students, it would also put more pressure on students to perform at extremely high levels.The lack of an extended break will tire people’s brains and actually cause them to retain less information for a longer period of time.

“I spend so much time on school work this year as a junior and can only imagine the work and effort I would be putting in if school was all year round,” said junior Nikki Randall.

With our current school scheduling, we are by no means lacking breaks. In fact, it is common to have week long breaks in which students can relax adequately until June. Summer break is a concept so ingrained into our society, that to change it at this point would be counterproductive. Making such a drastic change to the school system would pressure teachers, families, and students.