No summer no problem

ICCSD should consider adopting a year-long school plan and here’s why.

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Cassandra Michaels

Year-long school doesn’t mean you get less time off your time off is just spread throughout the year.

Summer slide is a phenomenon students have been experiencing for as long as we can remember. Almost everyone can relate to walking into a math class on the first day of school and feeling your mind go completely blank. Through the too short yet too long months of summer, what you learn the year before just slips away. As a person with a horrible memory myself, I’ve always wished for a solution to that problem. After doing some more research, I’ve realized a year-long school plan is what we need. 

A lot of people are very appalled at the idea of going to school year-round, but that’s before they learn what it really entails. Year-long school doesn’t mean you get less time off. Often, schools with yearlong schedules get even more time off when it’s all counted together.

A lot of people are very appalled at the idea of going to school year-round, but that’s before they learn what it really entails.”

The exact schedule varies from district to district but an overall commonality is a few extra one-week breaks other than just winter and spring break. Over three million K-12 students in the US attend school using a year-round schedule. The schedules often also include days off for smaller and lesser known holidays which is a positive outcome for the people who celebrate them. Another misconception is that schools that do a year-long plan have no summer break. Year-round plans normally have about a month and a half for summer. That’s still a good chunk of time but not enough that everything you learned before is forgotten. 

It’s a common experience for high school students to feel overwhelmed by all of the expectations put on them socially and academically. I feel like that is even more potent here at West High. I’ve experienced days myself where I feel so stressed I can barely bring myself to get out of bed in the morning. A newer solution many people have brought up is taking days off for mental health. In theory, it’s a good idea but students often get even more swamped with making up tests and homework. In a year-long schedule, random days off are a lot more common. Every student can have a mental health day without worrying about missing tests or important learning.

Year-round schedules are perfect for students who love to travel.”

Year-round schedules are perfect for students who love to travel. With all these extra breaks longer than a few days throughout the year, there’s more opportunity for traveling and gaining new experiences. Plus, plane tickets are so much cheaper when flying in an off-season. Here’s an example, right now if you wanted to fly to Orlando from the Cedar Rapids Airport, you could buy round trip tickets leaving  February 19th on Allegiant Air for 186 US dollars. On March 12, the same exact flight is $724. The reason for this drastic price increase? That’s the Saturday of spring break. It’s the same for all of the extended breaks most school districts have. Summer, winter break, and Thanksgiving break are all crazy expensive times to fly and get lodging. As a person who loves to travel, getting rid of this obstacle would be such an awesome improvement for my family. 

To me, year-long school is all the benefits without the downsides. The same amount of time off without the long chunks of endless homework, more time spent learning new things instead of reviewing all the stuff you forgot from last year, and cheaper and more frequent vacations. What more could you ask? A schedule like this could be so helpful for all the students in our district and especially at West because of our stringent academic work ethic. A Year-long school is an option we should all be thinking about.