Should students kiss goodbye to long summer breaks?

By Lisa Gusewelle

With the amount of learning loss that has happened because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, states like North Dakota that care about their students’ educational success have started discussing what can be done to best help students. One idea that was discussed with North Dakota lawmakers and State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler in January 2021 was extending the school year to a 10-month or 11-month year-round school. Though that idea has not been followed through on, there are some schools throughout the nation who have moved from an August to May calendar to a year-round calendar.

Aspen Barth – Year- round schools has come up in conversations, but I don’t think that we should have year-round schools. It would be hard on work- ing families because they would need to find babysitters or take off work.

Some may say you get more education from year- round schools than regular school. Yet Ohio State University ran a study and found that students in year- round schools only did 1% on better on state tests than those at regular schools.

I think the benefits are too small to make the change. And what kid wants to take classes in the summer?

Gage Gunwall – When I first heard about year- round schools, I first thought no. I need a break. So never ever.

Then I learned that year- round schools still get the same amount of breaks. Plus, students get a slight advantage because they need less recap from the year before. It can be harder for moms and dads with jobs be- cause of needing babysitting at different times of the year. With regular school, there is one big break in the summer and it is easier to find a consistent babysitter.

Despite the advantages, I still think we should not do year-round school. But that’s my opinion. What do you think?

James Koapke – First I thought, oh year-round school must be fun. You get more time to be with friends! But then I realized that it would not change anything because summer break also allows time to be with family or friends. How did I not think of that?

Then I learned that when schools switch to being year-round, their student breaks may not actually be breaks. The school offers programs for kids during the break that many parents use, so those kids do end up going to school all year long.

That seems unfair that some students would be forced by their parents in continuing to go to these programs when other kids have breaks just because those parents can’t afford a babysitter or want to make their kid work harder.

I wonder if parents do want breaks for their kids. I think they remember all the good times they had being a kid and would not want for us to miss out.

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