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Some Talking Points 
on Year-Round School

What research experience shows

School systems around the nation that have bought into the year-round calendar in efforts to help at-risk children have had disappointing results.  Experience shows the  "intersession" tutoring  during the frequent breaks are too little too late.

The following pages are  two quick reference year-round school talking points papers, one specifically on  intersessions. The information is a handy reference for information sessions and debates.

This site will be updated as new information becomes known as as time allows.

  Intersessions are
too little too late

                                    By Billee Bussard
                               SummerMatters Editor

Children with learning problems fall further behind and their learning problems are compounded when school districts rely on  year-round calendar intersessions to remediate.

The intersessions are too little too late, say school districts that returned to a traditional school year after disappointing results on a year-round calendar.  The calendar offers frequent two to three-week breaks during which at-risk children receive extra instructional time.

“A three-week period is insufficient time to ameliorate any child’s academic problem,” according to Chris Newland, Professor of Psychology at Auburn University, who did an extensive review of the research on the year-round calendar.  “Moreover, intersession classes are usually optional and in many school systems are not well attended,” he reported to Auburn City Schools in 1998.

  Experts say it is better to address learning problems immediately in Saturday classes, with after-school tutoring or peer counseling.

  There is a conspicuous absence of research on the educational value of the year-round calendar intersession. Those who delve into the century-long history of  year-round calendar experiments with its intersession component  find that the calendar change is, as Newland  describes it,  at best an “inert intervention.”1

  Questions about the value of the intersessions, compared to other remediation methods (summer school, after-school tutoring, curriculum interventions throughout the  school year), are not answered in the decades of  reports on calendar experiments. Academic researchers find a lack of a credible research or a substantial body of data to support claims of educational benefits of the year-round calendar and its intersession component.

In one of the most recent and most comprehensive studies of test scores, what may be the largest and most credible comparison to date of academic achievement of year-round calendar students vs. traditional calendar students, there was no evidence of academic superiority of the year-round calendar with its intersession intervention. 2   A study by the North Carolina Department of Education found no significant difference in academic performance (compared to traditional calendar students) for the largest percentage of students and  only a slight bounce in scores of at-risk or lower achieving students, which the researcher considers “educationally insignificant by most standards.”

  The analysis is based on two years of test scores and controlling variables of over 345,000 North Carolina third- through eighth-graders.  Intersessions, which expand the school year for these children, are offered in almost all North Carolina year-round schools (121 were operating in the state by 2000,) and are mandatory in 57 percent of year-round schools, according to the study’s author,  Bradley J. McMillen of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Division of Accountability Services. 

  The author  points out a gaping hole in the research on time and learning.  There is a need for studies that  “differentiate between the effects of a year-round calendar and the effects of additional instructional time on student achievement. . . .The question of whether the total amount of instructional time or the distribution of that time across the calendar year might be responsible for any achievement advantages for year-round schools has yet to be addressed,” McMillen said.

Observations on the intersession on the following pages were compiled from school district data, studies and media accounts.

                           

                           Talking Points: Intersessions

Compiled from school district data, studies and media accounts

 

Subject

Source

Academics

 

No significant difference

In scores

 

NORTH CAROLINA -  An analysis of two years of  test scores of more than 345,000  third- through eighth-graders in North Carolina, where almost all year-round schools offer intersession, found no significant difference in academic performance (compared to traditional calendar students) for the largest percentage of students. The slight bounce in scores of at-risk or lower achieving students is described by the researcher as “educationally insignificant by most standards.”

  Intercession is mandatory in 57 percent of year-round schools in North Carolina. The greatest majority of the 106  schools  examined in the study of test score data of students enrolled during the  1997-98 school year were using a single-track calendar and  only 13 percent a multitrack schedule.

 

 

McMillen, Bradley J. (2000) “A Statewide Evaluation of Academic Achievement in Year-round Schools,” North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Division of Accountability Services.

 

Scores

dropped

for intersession group

 

 

 

HOUSTON, TEXAS – A study found “no significant difference in achievement scores” for year-round students vs. traditional calendar in Houston’s 1980s experiment with a year-round calendar, even though there was a high rate of student participation in intersessions (50 to percent to 100 percent).

  In fact, “children attending two or more intersessions scored slightly lower than those attending traditional schools, disputing the notion “more is better,” according to a study by the Churchwell Group Inc. released in 1988.

  The Churchwell study examined five of the 25 Houston year-round schools that began experimenting with the calendar in 1983. By the 1999-2000 school year, only three Houston schools (with a combined enrollment of 1,103 students) were  on a year-round calendar, two of  those using an extended school year.

  The study concluded “Academic test score comparisons between year-round schools and standard schools matched for key characteristics indicated that year-round participation didn’t effect student achievement. Schools were matched in size, ethnicity, number receiving free and reduced lunches and mobility rates.” 

 

 

 “Year-round

 Schools Research

 Report,” Church-

 Well Group Inc.,

 1988.

 

 

Houston finds

no significant

test score

differences

 

 

 

HOUSTON, TEXAS – A comparison of test scores of year-round schools and standard calendar schools, adjusted for group differences,  “indicated that there were no significant differences in achievement scores between the year-round and traditional calendar schools,” according to the Final Evaluation report on year-round schools  released by the Houston Independent School District in March 1987.

  “There were no significant [test score ] differences between students attending one intersession and those attending more than one intersession.. . . Analysis of the available cases suggests that intersession attendance could have a marginal effect on achievement.”

 

 

 

“Year-round

 Schools Final

Evaluation Report,”

Houston Ind. School

Dist., March 16, 1987.

 

Anticipated improvements never materialized

 

HAWAII – Though the intersession program at a rural, agricultural Hawaii school district was extremely popular, expectations for improved academic performance “did not materialize in all the ways anticipated,” according to one study.

 

“Results did not demonstrate significant score increase across the years in any of the content areas. Neither did the scores of a single cohort of students, tracked for two years before and then again after YRE implementation suggest improved academic performance across time.”

 

 

Greenfeld, T.A. (1994) “Year-round education: A case for change,” The Educational Forum, 58, Pages 252-262.*

 

Catching up is difficult

 

&

 

Discipline is a problem

MONROE, LOUISIANA – Teachers  interviewed at Cypress Point University School  by a graduate student doing research on the intersession expressed doubt that students are able to learn in a one-week remediation period what was missed in a nine-week session. “You have 20 kids on different levels, and you are supposed to catch them up in a week. It’s hard. There needs to be some changes,” one told researcher Phyllis Sanders.

  Sanders concluded from her interviews with teachers who teach the remedial course during intersession: “It appeared most of the teachers felt intersession did not meet the academic needs of the students. Nine of the 10 people interviewed expressed a desire to return to the traditional calendar.”

  The researcher also observed discipline problems in the intersession  classes.

 

“Qualitative Research Project: Parent, Teacher and Student Satisfaction with Intersession: A Qualitative Study;” Submitted to Dr. R. Parker, Louisiana Tech University, by Phyllis Sanders, May 18, 2000.

At-Risk Kids

 

 

 

Low participation by at-risk kids

 

DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA – A voluntary intersession remediation and enrichment program offered by the school district received little participation, with only 10 to 15 percent of the students attending and only small numbers of at-risk children. A pre-test in May 1994 and post-test a year later of students who chose to stay in the YR program or transfer to a traditional year school found  no statistically significant impact of the  intersession for comparison groups.

 

 

Haenn, J.F (1996)

“Evaluating the 

promise of

Single-track

Year-Round Schools,”

Spectrum, Fall, 1996,

Page 27-35.*

 

There are better ways to remediate

 

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND - “The claim appears to have been made that YRS can help Chapter 1 students and students with disciplinary problems through the acceleration of studies and/or remedial services during intersessions (i.e, vacations). While it should come as no surprise that giving such students additional instruction and providing the structure that they may not receive at home helps such students, it does not follow that the YRS is the exclusive way to achieve such results. Clearly, accelerated programs and/or remedial programs can be designed for such students either after normal school hours or through the summer vacation.  It should not require the wholesale disruption and increased costs of YRS.”

 

 

“Memorandum in

Opposition to

Year-Round Schools,”

submitted to the

Montgomery County Public Schools Board of Education

by Robert Rosenfeld,

attorney-at-law,

Potomac, Maryland,

Dec. 22, 1993,

Page 39.

 

At-risk kids put at greater risk of being left back

 

FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, TALLAHASSEE - “Compensatory Education Students who participate in compensatory education programs (Chapter 1, State Compensatory, and Migrant Education) are also prime candidates for extra instruction available through summer school classes. Also, participation in summer school is frequently prescribed as a contingency for promotion to the next grade level. Year-round utilization of existing school facilities would likely limit the availability of traditional summer school classes, and hence instructional options for compensatory education students. Lack of access to summer school programs might also restrict promotional opportunities for borderline students.

  “The impact of compensatory education programs has been traditionally evaluated by means of student growth on nationally standardized achievement tests in the basic skills of reading and math. In the one school in Florida using the year-round scheduling approach, Wyomena Park in Ocala, a review of recent Chapter 1 evaluation data reveals no discernible benefit for compensatory education students.”

Footnote: Wyomena was one of three Florida pilot schools for the year-round calendar, all of which returned to a traditional school year because of disappointing academic results and high operating costs.

 

 

“Site Utilization:

Year-Round School/

Year-Round

Education, Florida

Department of

Education,

Division of Public

Schools,“

Jan. 11, 1990,

Page 15.

Costs

 

 

 

Low-income

families

get hurt

 

FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, TALLAHASSEE -“Prekindergarten Program A school schedule that is not continuous will necessitate alternate child care arrangements several times a year for the 3-and 4-year-old children enrolled in the program. Such a school schedule could present a financial hardship to low-income families and make childcare difficult to acquire since it would be needed on a sporadic basis.

  "The issue expressed regarding pre-kindergarten childcare needs also applies to elementary children. There are other major areas impacting students, families, teachers and administrators and communities which also should be given serious thought when considering the implementation of a year-round program at the elementary school level . . . It is widely accepted knowledge that young children need stability, which includes minimal changes, familiar people and routine in their lives.”

 

 

“Site Utilization: Year-Round School/Year-Round Education, Florida Department of Education, Division of Public Schools,” Jan. 11, 1990, Page 10.

Facilities
Problems

 

 

 

Intersessions add to facilities shortage

(see Attendance)

 

 

HOUSTON, TEXAS - “The year-round plan did not alleviate overcrowding because of high intersession attendance.”

According to a survey of teachers done for the report: “Intersessions created logistic problems, some massive in schools already overcrowded, due to lack of space.”  Said one teacher: “It seemed that if schools initially had space shortage, intersession potentially presented  more major problems.”

 

 

– “Year-round

 Schools Research

 Report,” Church-

 Well Group Inc.,

 1988.

 

 

Intercessions add to space problems

 

 

HOUSTON, TEXAS - “Management of intersessions overcrowding varied from campus to campus. Some schools limited intersession attendance while others worked out innovative space arrangements. Schools reported housing intersessions students on the school stage, on an outside patio and in the cafeteria. One school bussed intersession students to another year-round school that was not overcrowded. A number of schools had to rent space in churches or community buildings adjacent to the campus. Since these facilities were not designed as classrooms, the teaching space was not always an optimal setting for learning. On at least one campus, scheduling of lunch and bathroom arrangements was a problem, even if additional space was located for intersession spill over.”

 

 

 

 “Year-round

 Schools Final

Evaluation Report,”

Houston Ind. School

Dist., March 16, 1987.

 

Quality of Instruction

 

 

 

Academic focus lacking

 

HOUSTON,  TEXAS - The following was revealed in a survey of teachers by the Churchwell Group Inc.:

 

·        “Nearly 60 percent of intersession activities were field trips that took ‘considerable amount of staff time to plan and execute.’ ”

 

·        “Teachers and administrators expected intersession activities to have positive effects on student achievement by increasing time-on-task. It is not determined how this was achieved since a majority of the intersession activity was spent on field trips.

 

·        “Some teachers commented they had a difficult time getting students to settle down to regular classes after the more relaxed atmosphere of the intersessions. ‘Instead of the traditional two-week period to get children to settle down, teachers lose eight weeks of instruction in adjustment.’ ”

 

 

 “Year-round

 Schools Research

 Report,” Church-

 Well Group Inc.,

 1988.

 

 

Children learn best in a stabilized environment

 

BROWARD COUNTY, FLORIDA - A study presented to the School Board by Broward Parents for Quality Education, a grassroots study group, found:

 

“Remediation During intersession, the student experiences changes in teacher, classmates, curriculum, and environment. Because of these changes, and the short amount of time the intersession teacher has to build a relationship with the children, school districts have found them to be ineffective.

“Continuous Progress  There is no time allotted for continuous progress on a multi-track calendar. On a traditional calendar, children can take additional courses during the summertime to advance their education and gain extra credits. Students are also able to make up classes that they have failed during the regular school year. This opportunity is no loner available.

“Stability Consistency and predictability are key to providing a stable environment for young children. It takes time for them to become comfortable in new surroundings. They are very possessive of and comfortable with their space and their belongings. It gives children a sense of pride to see their creations hung around the classroom. Multi-track classes, especially those on choo-choo trains [roving classes] that roam the school do not offer that security to small children. . . While they can and do adapt to change, moving their home is a disruptive process.  It take time for children to re-orient themselves and feel comfortable in their new surroundings.”

 

 

“Quality Education in a Multitrack Environment,” Broward Parents for Quality Education, report to the school board, Sept.  7, 1993.

 

Scheduling

problems

 

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA –“Students who go to intersession due to failing grades may be grouped with as many as three different grade levels and up to 30 students in a class for a nine-day remediation period,” according to a petition for the return to a traditional school calendar  signed by more than 50 teachers at Sabal Palm Elementary in 1995.  Footnote: The school district dropped the year-round calendar from all its schools three years later.

 

 

Public document copy  found in book by Billee Bussard & Suzanne McCrary, “Year-round Education: Lessons Learned the Hard Way,” REB Communications Inc. August 1998

Societal
Problems

 

 

 

Latchkey Kids

 

 

 

 

 

 

Juvenile Crime

 

BROWARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Intersessions open the door to  tremendous societal problems, including latchkey kids and juvenile crime,  according to research done by the  Broward County Florida Education Planning Initiative, a group that studied proposals to implement the year-round calendar. 

 

“One of the common concerns raised when discussing modified calendars, including double sessions, is the issue of daycare. There is already an alarming number of latchkey kids. Rather than losing their job because of the shift in vacation schedules, parents may opt to leave their child home alone,” the group reported in a memorandum to the school board dated Sept. 14, 1993.

 

“Information on the relationship between intersessions, truancy, gang activity, and juvenile crime rates varies from one multi-track location to the next. However, the same concern exists here as does with double sessions. Whether the figure is 20 percent out of school or 50 percent out of school, when students are unsupervised there is a concern about neighborhood vandalism and gang-related activity.”

 

 

“Social and Community Impact of Year-round Education,” memorandum to the Broward County School Board from the Broward County Florida Education Planning Initiative, Sept. 14, 1993. Document found in “Year-Round Education: Lessons Learned the Hard Way by Billee Bussard and Suzanne McCrary, August 1998.

 

Teachers

 

 

 

Teachers
Shortages

 

(See also: Recent  Reports)

 

FRESNO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT  - Staffing and space problems created by a year-round calendar have prompted a proposal to convert a middle school into a site dedicated solely to intersession programs that will serve students from year-round schools.  The proposal will address the shortage of classroom space and teachers to staff  intersessions.

 

The  multi-track year-round programs have created education inequities for year-round students vs.  students on the traditional calendar, school officials said.  “We continually have a facilities struggle with year-round schools on trying to provide a dedicated classroom every time a group goes off on vacation,” said Terry Simerly, assistant superintendent for elementary education. 

 

“A lack of a summer school equivalent for students who attend year-round schools has been a long-running problem in the district. For our year-round students, if the school cannot provide a teacher for the intersession, then they don’t have access to ‘summer school,’ ” said Mary Marcelletti, principal of year-round Hidalgo Elementary. “Whereas children who go to traditional schools, there is a summer school they can apply to.”

 

 

“Plan puts summer back in year-round school,” The Fresno Bee, Dec. 11, 2000.

 

Recent
Reports

 

 

 

Shortages of classroom space and teachers

 

(see also:

Teacher Shortages

 

FRESNO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT  - Staffing and space problems created by a year-round calendar have prompted a proposal to convert a middle school into a site dedicated solely to intersession programs that will serve students from year-round schools.  The proposal will address the shortage of classroom space and teachers to staff  intersession programs that have created education inequities for year-round students vs.  students on the traditional calendar, school officials said.  “We continually have a facilities struggle with year-round schools on trying to provide a dedicated classroom every time a group goes off on vacation,” said Terry Simerly, assistant superintendent for elementary education.  “A lack of a summer school equivalent for students who attend year-round schools has been a long-running problem in the district. For our year-round students, if the school cannot provide a teacher for the intersession, then they don’t have access to “summer school,’ ” said Mary Marcelletti, principal of year-round Hidalgo Elementary. “Whereas children who go to traditional schools, there is a summer school they can apply to.”

 

 

---“Plan puts summer back in year-round school,” The Fresno Bee, Dec. 11, 2000

 

1 Review of the literature in a report to the Board of Education, Auburn City Schools, Oct. 20, 1998, by M. Christopher Newland, Ph.D., and professor of psychology, Auburn University.

  2 McMillen, Bradley J,  “A Statewide Evaluation of Academic Achievement in Year-round Schools, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Division of Accountability Services.” 2000.

  * Compiled  from a review of the research (1998)  by Christopher Newland, Ph.D.,professor of psychology, Auburn University.  

 


 
About the Author: Billee Bussard is a Jacksonville, Fla., journalist who began studying and writing about  school calendar issues in 1992 as an editorial writer for the Florida Times-Union. She is co-author of “Year-Round Education: Lessons Learned The Hard Way.”  She now devotes full time to writing on school calendar issues and  sharing her research with  parents and school districts studying school calendar reconfiguration.  In June 2001, she launched SummerMatters!!, a website devoted to school calendar issues (see: summermatters.com) She can be contacted at:  bussardre@aol.com.

 

 

 

TALKING POINTS:
YEAR-ROUND SCHOOL

                  Recent experiences, reports and data from school districts

 

Subject

Source

Academics

 

 

YR creates complications

 

 

LAKELAND, FL - A year-round calendar presents potential problems for students taking advance placement tests and for sports and other school activities such as band, according to Jennifer Tyre, a student on a study committee at George Jenkins High School, who is opposed to a school calendar change. Tyre returned from a conference of the National Association For Year-Round education, unconvinced of  the benefits of a year-round calendar. “they were really in the business to sell you,” she said of the conference experience.

 

 

 

– “Balanced

Calendar Remains

Emotional Issue:

Many parents are

unconvinced of the

balanced calendar’s

benefits to

children,”  The

Ledger, Lakeland,

FL, Nov. 26, 2000

 

 

The early school start provided by the YR calendar at five Denver elementaries didn’t deliver on promised performance improvement. Third grade reading and fourth grade writing test scores fell between 1998 and 2000.; the six schools that had yet to switch to a YRS actually outperofermed the five schools that started early in 1999.

 

 —Denver Rocky Mountain News, August 1, 2000

 

Quality of

instruction

affected

 

 

LOS ANGELES – Community leaders, including Mayor Richard Riordian, are pushing  to end the “huge construction backlog and overcrowded year-round schools that affect the quality of instruction.”

 

 

“Getting past Belmont,”

Los Angeles Times editorial, Dec. 11, 2000

 

Creates

problems

for  the

college-bound

 

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. – Los Angeles School Superintendent Roy Romer agreed with a group of  high school  student protestors that the year-round calendar creates problems for college-bound students who want to take Advanced Placement classes.

Romer told the 150 students marchers that the AP classes are “not distributed fairly across the tracks” at year-round schools. Romer agreed to provide the students with a report by Feb. 1 to show the number of college prep and AP classes offered at each high school and the percentage of students at each school eligible for admission to California universities and college.

 

 

– “Pupils demand more college prep classes,” The Los Angeles Times, Dec. 15, 2000

 

Hard data

on academic

merits lacking

 

LAKELAND, FL. – A candidate for school superintendent backed off support of a year-round calendar. “There is absolutely no hard-driven data that says the balanced calendar works,” Denny Dunn told a Kiwanis Club meeting. Dunn, assistant superintendent for human resources, said he was originally swayed by reports provided by Charles Ballinger, executive director of the National Association for Year-Round Education, which claimed the calendar would help struggling students.

 

 

–“Dunn Changes Mind on Issue: He says year-round school idea needs more data,” The Ledger, Lakeland, Nov. 4, 2000.

 

Experiment

found

no  proof of

academic

benefits

 

PAHRUMP, NEVADA – The Nye County School District is ending its three-year- experiment with a multitrack year-round school, citing high costs and lack of educational benefit at the elementary school. The experiment was a quick fix for overcrowding that would have been continued  if it had academic merit. “Well, all the data is in, and it’s not (educationally beneficial),” said Peggy Smith, school board member.

 

 

 

--“Year-round school

 dies: Board votes to

 go back to traditional nine-month

calendar next autumn,” Pahrump Valley Times, Pahrump, Nevada, Nov. 17, 2000

 

Early studies

Show little

affect on

education

outcomes

 

 

The  one study of academic performances at year-round schools done prior to 1990 that was able to distinguish between multitrack and single track found multitrack school scored below  average on the California Assessment Program test (after controlling for economic status and other factors) while the single-track schools achieved at or slightly above average.

 

“Student Segregation and Achievement Tracking in Year-Round School,” Ross E. Mitchell and Douglas E. Mitchell, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Riverside.

 

Children lose instructional days

 

STOCKTON: columnist Eric Grunder, reporting on the fact that 30 percent of city’s seniors failed to meet tough graduation requirements, points the finger at  the “start-and-stop-and start-and stop year-round schedule.” Grunder calculated that under a year-round calendar,  the Lodi Unified School District students were cheated out of 136 instructional days by the time they have attended grades one through eight. “That’s because on the year-round schedule, school is 17 days shorter per year than the traditional 180-day schedule. Oh, the school day is 20 minutes longer---which results in an equivalency only in a mind tortured by an accounting degree.” Grunder said.

 

 

Gunder column,
The Record,  
Stockton,
Oct. 29, 2000

 

Reading Scores Declined

 

MERIDIAN SCHOOL DISTRICT: A review of test scores shows no advantage to year-round schools in the district and a decline in reading scores in every grade level, according to data compiled by a SOS Citizen’s Group, a grass-roots organization opposed to the year-round calendar. The analysis of  test scores published in the Idaho Statesman in May 2000, shows  a decline in reading for the year-round students while there were increases for students on a traditional calendar in a comparison of reading ability from fall to winter of the 1999-2000 school year. 

“Perhaps the frequent breaks in a year-round calendar actually hurt academic performance,” the group suggests in a posting of scores on its Website.(http://sites.netscape. Net/sosmeridian.)

 

 

SOS Citizen’s

Group, Web page

(see story)

Research doesn’t support achievement

claims

A review of the research on year-round school experiments finds no convincing data to show that a modified school year can produce any substantive improvements in a public school system, an Auburn University researcher told the Pell City, Ala., school district.  “Basically, these claims are unsupported, said Dr. M.C. Newland,

 

“Professor: Few

advantages to

 year-round schooling,”

David Atchinson,

The Daily Home,

Talladega-Sylacauga-

Pell City, Ala., Jan. 10

2001

 

YR calendars are a “handicap” for students

“Los Angeles schools Supt. Roy Romer calls year-round calendars a ‘handicap’ for students,” according to a Los Angeles times story in which students say learning suffers because of the year-round calendar.

 

“As far as I’m concerned, the year-round calendar is not an optimum learning situation, “ according to Floria Anderson, principal of Hollywood High School, which operates on a multi-track year-round calendar.

 

Los Angeles Times reporter Duke Helfand writes: “The experience at Hollywood High shows how multi-track schedules present students with hurdles that do not exist at other schools. The setbacks, while not crippling on their own, take a cumulative toll on learning, spawning what many call a two-tiered system of education.”

 

According to Jeannie Oakes, associate dean of UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, “People with more privilege and political clout odn’t want their children in these schools.”

 

Students with limited English proficiency say the frequent breaks hinders progress in learning the language.

 

“Year-Round

discontent at

Hollywood High:

Staff students say

learning suffers.”

Duke Helfand,

Los Angeles Times,

Nov. 20, 2000

 

 

Even when test scores improve on a year-round calendar  there isn’t proof that the calendar  is directly responsible, according to Frederick M. Hess of the University of Virginia, an expert on school reform policy. “Nobody has compelling evidence that these changes improve measurable student performance in any significant way,” Hess said.

 

“A Matter of Time,”

Laura Fording,

Newsweek Web

Exclusive,

Jan 24, 2001

Costs

 

YR cost

one school

$740,000

a year more

 

PAHRUMP, NEVADA – The Nye County School District, which voted to end its only year-round school program, found it cost roughly $740,000 a year more to operate the multitrack  calendar.

 

--“Year-round school dies: Board votes to go back to traditional nine-month calendar next autumn,” Pahrump Valley Times, Pahrump, Nevada, Nov. 17, 2000

 

 

 

FLORIDA – The Florida legislature ended incentive funds for districts with multitrack schools operating at 20 percent of capacity or more after a findings by a state task force in 1993 concluded the multitrack  calendar offered no savings. “The savings in facilities cost deriving from modified calendars is relatively small, and indeed very likely exceeded by increased operational costs.”

 

“Many try but later reject year-round schooling programs,” The Baltimore Sun, April 2, 1995

 

 

PELL CITY, ALA. – “Most schools have at least a 5 percent increase in costs by going to a modified school calendar,” according to Dr. M.C. Newland, an Auburn University professor who studied the issue when Auburn City Schools proposed the calendar change.

 

“Professor: Few advantages to year-round schooling: Sounding board taking look at modified school year,”The Daily Home, Talladega-Sylacauga-Pell City, Jan. 10, 2001

 

 

 

TALLEGA COUNTY – While the Talledega city schools were studying a switch to a year-round calendar, the Talledega County school district has  already decided against the  switch. . “The startup cost to implement an alternative calendar is quite expensive, so financially it’s not possible. And we did research, and there’s no instructional benefit from a year-round situation,” said Dr. Peggy Connell, Talladega County superintendent.

 

“Talladega city weighing pros and cost of year-round school,” Mack Knopf, The Daily Home, Feb. 16, 2000.

Child  Care

Latchkey

kids

The Urban Institute estimates about 21 percent of schoolage children ages 6 to 12 with working mothers are regularly left at home after school unsupervised.

“A Matter of Time,”  Laura Fording, Newsweek Web Exclusive, Jan 24, 2001

 

Creates

child care

hardships

 

WAKE COUNTY, N.C. – The year-round calendar has created hardships in finding affordable and convenient child care for the frequent vacation breaks.  “Finding day care during the breaks is a constant concern for parents.” Some parents have turned to the YMCA, but the program is costly, as much as $990 to $1,320 a year for each child for a non-member.

 

 

--The News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C., Nov. 20, 2000

 

 

NAACP cites YR impact on

low-income

families

 

WAKE COUNTY- The president of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP expressed concerns over child care problems that will be created for low-income families whose children will be assigned to a mandatory year-round school calendar.

 

 

--The News & Observer,  Nov. 16, 2000

 

Costly camps attempt to fill

child care

void created by YR

 

SAN MARCOS, CALIF. – “Parents of students on the year-round school track system can have a difficult time coming up with suitable child care during their children’s days off.” . .In answer to the problem, the San Marcos Community Recreation Center is offering week-long camps at the cost of $70 a week per camp for residents and $80 for non-residents.

 

--“Day camp offers alternative to care quandary,” The San Diego Union-Tribune, Dec. 10, 2000

Extra Curricular Activities & Athletics

 

Bad for

football

 

PELL CITY: A modified calendar creates problems for athletic teams, especially for the football program in Alabama.  It creates a three-week break in the middle of high school football season,  said Dr. M.C. Newland, a professor at Auburn University.  In the spring there is also a three-week break when there are cheerleading and other national competitions. 

 

“Professor: Few advantages to year-round schooling: Sounding board taking look at modified school year,”The Daily Home, Talladega-Sylacauga-Pell City, Jan. 10, 2001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Intercession

 

 

 

Shortages of classroom space and teachers

 

FRESNO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT  - Staffing and space problems created by a year-round calendar has prompted a proposal to convert a middle school into a site dedicated solely to intersession programs that will serve students from year-round schools.  The proposal will address the Shortage of classroom space and teachers to staff  intersession programs have created education inequities for year-round students vs.  students on the traditional calendar, school officials said.  “We continually have a facilities struggle with year-round schools on trying to provide a dedicated classroom every time a group goes off on vacation,” said Terry Simerly, assistant superintendent for elementary education.  A lack of a summer school equivalent for students who attend year-round schools has been a long-running problem, in the district.” For our year-round students, if the school cannot provide a teacher for the intersession, then they don’t have access to “summer ‘ school,” said Mary Marcelletti, principal of year-round Hidalgo Elementary. “Whereas children who go to traditional schools, there is a summer school they can apply to,”

 

 

---“Plan puts summer back in year-round school.” The Fresno Bee, Dec. 11, 2000

 

 

 

 

Middle School & High Schools

 

 

Nationwide, 280 public middle or junior high schools operate year-round, according to data from the National Association of Year-Round Education.

 

 

-The State Journal-Register

Dec. 13, 2000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morale

 

 

 

Crowded YR schools send children the wrong message

 

LOS ANGELES – “Many parents and politicians would not work in facilities as lacking as our public schools. These schools are badly in need of repair, and some of our communities are badly in need of new schools. There is a school in Anaheim that is all temporary buildings, and is on double sessions and is a year-round school What are we telling our kids about where they rate in society?”

 

 

“Schools, Teachers Warrant Support,” letter to editor by Lloyd Porter, Los Angeles times, Dec. 10, 2000

 

Attitudes will improve with the return to a traditional calendar

 

PAHRUMP, Nevada -  “You may not see test scores go up right away . . . but you will see an improvement in the attitude of students and staff and the community,” said Manse Elementary Principal Dale Norton, reacting to a school board decision to end the Nye County School District’s only year-round school program.

 

 

--“Year-round school dies: Board votes to go back to traditional nine-month calendar next autumn,” Pahrump Valley Times, NV, Nov. 17, 2000

 

 

YR proposal prompts students to demonstrate

 

VAN NUYS – Only three of the 300 parents and students attending a meeting to examine a proposed change to a year-round calendar for Van Nuys High School raised their hands in favor of the proposal.  Outside the meeting, about 40 students staged a demonstration saying a year-round schedule would cause problem, particularly for those taking advanced-placement exams.

 

 

“Year-round school reviled, ” The Daily News of Los Angels, Valley Edition, Dec. 7, 2000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Popularity

 

 

 

YR is a choice of last resort

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GRANITE – The Granite School Board, faced with a shortage of funds to build new schools, voted to adopt boundary changes that will require some schools to use a year-round calendar.  The other options were running double sessions, bonding for new construction or extended days. ---“Obviously, we would prefer that every school be on a normal schedule. We [adopt a year-round schedule] reluctantly in that it has to be done to meet the needs of children and live within the constraints of our budget,” said  Granite School Board President Lynn Davidson.

 

 

---“Granite District Approves Shifts in Boundaries,” The Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City, Dec. 14, 2000

--- “S.L. School Board punts,” The Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, Dec. 16, 2000

 

Tracks most like a traditional calendar are the most popular

 

 

 

Studies show “the tracks most like the traditional calendar (summer vacation months in July or August) are the most popular and always the first to fully enroll.”

 

“Student Segregation

 and Achievement

Tracking in

Year-Round School,”

Ross E. Mitchell and

Douglas E. Mitchell,

Graduate School of

Education, University

of California,

Riverside.

 

 

 

Interferes with family time

 

 

 

“Parents have had enough. What we have today is a bloated school calendar and we have seen no evidence that this calendar is better for our kids. Days of instruction four our children have not increased; the only increase is the number of vacation days and interruptions during the school year. We know that the shorter summer is taking away precious time for the students to learn outside of the classroom, and it is taking important time away from families.”—Sandi Mann, concerned parent speaking in support of later school starting dates in Texas

 

 

 

 

“Support traditional year,” Bowie News, Bowie Texas, Dec. 14, 2000

 

 

 

Special Education

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Jobs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer

Learning

Loss

The Dailey Home in Talladega city, Alabama, reported the following: “According to the seventh edition of the Educational and Psychological Measurement and Evaluation, most lost information is gone from students’ memories after four days and doesn’t increase significantly afterward, so there would be no real advantage to shortening summer vacation.”

 

Dr. Peggy Connell, Superintendent of Talladega County Schools, said “If you’re going to be out four days, you might as well be out four months.

“Talladega city weighing pros and cons of year-round school,” Mack Knopf, Daily Home, Feb. 16, 2000

 

 

 

Summer Learning
Loss