Summer School?

Joshua Moore, Reporter

It sometimes seems like, from the dawn of time, that students always get off for the summer, then come back two months later. This gives them time to have fun with their friends and travel on vacations during the summer. Is this really the best way though?

So to figure out if people should change this, people should know why it was instituted. Students getting off for the summer originally started when America was in its agricultural days, and the children were needed to help work the farm. They took the three months off of school to go home and work. Their parents needed them, and it also taught them valuable life skills. They needed to learn how to farm if they were going to do well in life when they grew up and went to live on their own.

There must be a change. Some reasons for it to change would be that it helps minorities and disadvantaged students. Disadvantaged students who need the free lunch that the school provides, it is especially hard as they no longer have that food. In some schools, more than 50% of the students have free or reduced lunch according to the Oregon Department of Education.

What about the teachers though? What do they say if they want summer school or not? According to Kim Adams, who used to teach elementary school, she said, “With young children especially, year round school is good because during that two and a half months that children are not in school, six, seven, and eight year olds, they don’t retain the kind of information than if they had shorter blocks of time away from school.” Those younger kids have a hard time remembering everything through the summer. Also, she said, you would see less burnout from the teachers.

Deborah Barnes, the Journalism and Radio-Broadcasting teacher at Sabin-Schellenberg, said, “School should not go year round. Many kids will miss school because their parents are going to pull them out for summer vacation, and what if I have to teach them something important?” Barnes continued to stress the fact by talking about projects that could not be made up in some of her classes, and how she knows some people who take a vacation for a month.

Studies show that on average, students lose about two months of reading over the summer. But what happens if they miss a month of school? Being with parents and family is important to the development of children, young children especially. Would shorter breaks encourage them to value the time with their family? Or would it be better to have more time for vacation so that the children can have relaxing time with their family? Making school go year round could also add stress to kids as they would not have a large break in sight, but maybe multiple breaks would allow them to relax more and do their homework over those breaks, giving them more time.

Teens also get jobs in the summer. This is especially important in high school as they are preparing for college and they need more money. They need to use summer break like people used to and use it to learn important life skills. Would giving only shorter breaks take away students ability to do this? Maybe year round school would be better for elementary school children, and students in high school should not as they need the chance to work and they do not lose as much over the summer as elementary school kids.