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

Ella Penson, Contributing Writer

As many students are aware, the traditional school year in the United States lasts 180 days, after which students are granted an eight-week summer vacation. Debates over the necessity of this break, have become especially prevalent in recent years with school becoming increasingly taxing on students.

Decades ago, the summer vacation was important because it allowed children to help with farm work and till the fields.  However, this ideology is outdated and it is time for a change.

Many American schools are looking to switch to a school year that would go all year round.   Countries that have already made the switch are China, Japan, South Korea and Australia.  Statistics show that America is falling behind in academics, ranking 27th  in mathematics and 20th in science worldwide.   For a country that is idolized as a powerhouse with immeasurable opportunity, we are sorely lacking in the field of education.   The answer may lie within this school year issue.

“It embarrasses me that we are falling behind in this field.   The United States is a country that should be an example for others.   Maybe a longer school year can help us accomplish that,” said freshman Emily Levine.

Additionally, having school all year could also help you save money.  During a longer summer break, parents struggle and often have to purchase expensive tickets to a vacation destination.   A full-year school schedule would allow for more breaks and more flexibility.  Without as many people fighting for flights, prices would go down.

This system would also improve student performance, as teachers must often take the time to reteach certain topics because students forgot the information during the break.  Having school all year would give teachers much more time to focus on their students’ weaknesses and strengths.

“During the summer, it feels like all the information just slipped out of my head,” said freshman Jeannie Ren.

This would help students’ grades to improve.   The reason for this is that teachers often feel pressured teach a lot of material in a limited amount of time, causing them to rush in an attempt to teach students everything they need to know.

A fast pace like this is not conducive to learning for every student.  Since classes move so quickly, students sometimes don’t have time to fully comprehend what they’re learning, which is why teachers should have more time to teach.

“Sometimes the teacher is speaking and teaching so fast, I don’t have time to write it all down,” said freshman Katie Winter.

Therefore, with no summer break, not only would lower-performing students do better, but higher-achieving students would have more room to improve. This would facilitate widespread student success.

Something that plagues every student is stress.  Students stress over finals, schoolwork, and homework, and by the end of the summer, they’re already dreading the next school year.  More frequent breaks could help to relieve students of this stress, which would allow them to catch up on their work.   They would not have to spend so much time worrying about the next school year because a gradually increasing amount of work could help ease them into harder subjects.

“I feel like after the summer I have to completely adjust back to a school mindset. I think a year round school term would definitely make it easier to transition between grades,” said senior Andrew Falzone.

Moreover, a year round school term is a better use of resources because  during the summer break, the school building remains virtually unused.  If the school term lasted the entire year, school buildings like our own would be available for use for both academic and community activities.

“I always feel stressed about the amount of school work.  Worrying about classes in future years is overwhelming.   Maybe a longer school year could help me adjust,” said freshman Katie Mazzei.

The year round school term, while it may sound like more work to students, is actually the most effective way to ease into consecutive school years. With this schedule, teachers could teach at a slower pace to facilitate student success. This, on top of more frequent breaks for the whole year, would make year long school terms both enjoyable and flexible.