Once again we are at the end of another school year. The last week is dwindling down and parents, children and teachers are truthfully all ready for a break, a change in surroundings, a chance to explore other avenues of life. We are tired. We are looking forward to summer adventures. We are ready for sleeping in and relaxing, letting our minds and our bodies rest.
One of the subjects being talked about more and more frequently in West Virginia is year-round schooling. There are many different versions, but the most common is going to school for eight to ten weeks and then having two weeks off. This would be done continually throughout the year so that the teacher and the student would never be away from school for more than a period of two weeks. Proponents say it would help reduce the amount of information students forget over break and help make it easier to deal with snow days. Others say it would make a more consistent learning pattern and allow for more concentrated learning.
I, on the other hand, strongly oppose year-round schooling. My years of experience in the school system has led me to believe that everyone involved needs a considerable time off to refresh and refocus. If students only went to school for ten weeks and then had two weeks off, there would still be a considerable loss of the information during the break. Currently, with two weeks or less for Christmas break, most students still need review to remember where they were.
Secondly, who is going to watch these kids for two weeks every two and one-half months. It is hard enough now getting someone to watch kids over the summer. If you only needed someone to watch your kids two weeks every three months, it would be almost impossible to find someone willing to do it. This would be especially difficult for childcare providers.
Thirdly, what would teachers do to make up for the loss of income they normally make during the summer months? That extra income would have to be made up with higher salaries.
Finally, year-round school would be like taking a long vacation trip with your kids. After about the first ten week period they would be saying, "Is it over yet?" In the summer months, it would be nearly impossible to keep young minds focused on schooling when there are so many other activities they would rather be doing. Even higher education institutions have enough sense to make college optional in the summer time.
Although year round school sounds like a good idea, I believe, after a closer look, it would just be a waste of time and time is something we can't afford to waste.
Who is this guy?
David Friend is an ordained elder in the Evangelical Methodist Church and has been the headmaster of Covenant Christian School for over fifteen years. He holds a bachelor degree in Business Administration from West Virginia University and a bachelor degree in Christian Education from Asbury University. He is married to Rachel, his wife of 27 years and they have four grown children, Brian, Joshua, Nathaniel and Hannah.