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What Teens Think About Year-Round School

Dianna is a writer with a background in education and business. She writes to inspire and encourage others.

Is year-round education a good idea?

Is year-round education a good idea?

Do Students Like Year-Round School?

It was during a summer family vacation while visiting relatives in California that I discovered the novel concept of year-round education (YRE). We arrived at my uncle's home around noon for lunch. Expecting to chat with my cousins, I asked about their whereabouts. I was informed Julia would be home around two o'clock from school and that my older cousin, Gabriel, had a job after school, so he would not be joining us until later. That just threw me for a loop. School? During summer vacation?

I found out from talking with my cousins afterward that their schedules allowed some flexibility with each module. This session, school began at 10 a.m. and finished at 1:30 p.m. I assessed the value of being able to sleep later, an important part of life during my growing teen years. It all sounded pretty good to me.

The majority of American teens attend school from August until May, with summers off. They enjoy the long break and believe it enables them to rejuvenate for the extended school year. Those students who attend year-round would argue differently. It is a hard call to make for administration.


What Is Year-Round School?

In order to help students retain learning, schools have implemented year-round schooling. The most common calendar follows a 45-15 schedule, where students are in school 45 days and off 15 (or three weeks). Students still attend school for 180 days, the same as traditional scholars.

There are approximately 3,181 schools in the US offering a year-round curriculum. This is about 10% (2 million) of children nationwide. Outside the US, 49% of foreign countries support year-round education. Of interest, the drop-out rate for YRE is 2%, while the drop-out rate for non-YRE schools is 5%. (source: I have constructed below how the YRE calendar year differs from the traditional one as a visual image reference.

Comparison of school calendar year: year-round education

Comparison of school calendar year: year-round education

Comparison of school calendar year: traditional school year calendar

Comparison of school calendar year: traditional school year calendar

An Interview With Teens on YRE

I interviewed approximately 38 students who attend a traditional school calendar year on the idea of having school all year round. I have selected a few statements to share with readers below. Most students, as you can guess, were against changing the success and history of their school year calendar. Some were open to the positive value of change.

Although most were pretty serious in their responses, a few were candid in giving their opinion. "Snarky" is what we call being sarcastic these days, and there were a couple who followed this line of retort. Teens will be teens!

Why I Prefer the Traditional School Year

"I believe that schools across America should not be open year-round. With schools open year-round more pressure can be put upon a student. Summer vacation gives students time to relax and a stress-free break. Studies show school does increase the chances of depression and anxiety in teens. Year-round school would increase these chances.

Year-round school could also hurt the economy. There would be no "back-to-school" sales, which means no extra income during this time of year. Many students also obtain summer jobs, teaching them responsibility. Summer vacation is necessary for our children to be happy and to become well-adjusted young adults." —Megan

The Basic Argument

  • "I believe that kids should have the right to be kids. When you were a kid, didn't you dream of summer? No school? Every kid longs for a long break when the work finally pays off. School in the summer help kids—doing stuff they love or exploring new adventures, but it (YRE) also means that parents would be paying more money if their children go year round." —Grace
  • "I would rather finish one entire school year and have the entire three months than to be year-long in school and have breaks in between. I wouldn't want to be in a year-long school because I wouldn't want to feel like I'd be stuck in school forever. I think students would focus better knowing they only need to finish nine months of school and then they can have a long break to look forward to." —Gabriel
  • "I disagree. I think children need a break. I mean, if you put them in a year-round school, I wouldn't be surprised if the suicide rate were much higher. I support the traditional school calendar because it has worked for centuries." —Kevin
  • "I think going to school all year around is a very bad idea. If schools do that, students would be so depressed. They wouldn't even be motivated to finish the year because there is no end of the year. Their brains would be fried, and everyone would be dead. Having breaks allows for family vacations and are easier for parents to get off work." —Alyssa
"You are kidding, right?" That was the typical response to my question: Would you prefer to go to school year-round?

"You are kidding, right?" That was the typical response to my question: Would you prefer to go to school year-round?


"I support the idea of having a year-round school schedule. This country needs less fun time and more learning. The more time children have out of school just increases the number of bad things that could happen. But school would change that lifestyle for students. In fact, I believe there should be school every day. Families are too nice to their kids, and they are living life too easily. The harder life is for students, the better." —Tiy

The Extreme View

  • "If you think that children should have to endure school year-round without a summer, then someone needs to take you to a mental ward. I wouldn't wish nonstop school on my worst enemy. If schools required students to go all year—with very few breaks, we'd all be zombies! Do you want exhausted, stressed, and cranky corpses walking around your beautiful campus? No, you don't. Preserve this generation!" —Kayla
  • "We should not have school year round; it would be pushing many kids too far. We are just teenagers who need and deserve a few months to not worry about school and to live our lives when we are young. No year-round school!" —Brianne
  • "I do not agree with year-round school. If you want school all year round, you can do home school. Better yet, MOVE TO CALIFORNIA!" —Austin
  • "We need to stay on the same break schedule. Actually, we need to have fewer school days and more breaks in general. Students need to relax and go on vacation." —Alex
  • "Imagine you are lying out in the sun. The sound of waves in your ears and beautiful sand all around you. A beach umbrella over your head. Sound peaceful? Too bad you can't fully enjoy it because in the back of your mind you are stressing about an English paper due in the morning. No, with year-round school—you will never truly have that break from school and the relief it brings." —Giselle
"I can see the value of YRE in helping me to find better jobs."

"I can see the value of YRE in helping me to find better jobs."

It Could Possibly Work!

  • "I like the idea of going to school year-round, as long as we have half-days. So there wouldn't be a huge break for you to forget everything. You have more time in the morning to get ready or stay up later for homework." —Hunter
  • "It is a proven fact that the long summer break we have in Florida actually lessens students "smartness" because they do not do any kind of schooling or learning activity all summer long. It is also harder for students to get back in the rhythm after a really long break. The longest break should be three weeks." —Christian
  • "I would suggest continuing a normal school calendar with a switch. In other words, school time should be held from February to October. The "summer" breaks held in the cooler Florida weather: November, December, and January. It is excruciatingly hot in Florida, but the weather is better for school." —Marco
  • "Many schools in California have changed their school calendars so that they are now year-round, starting at ten to four. I agree this should be everywhere because the students will get more sleep and will have more breaks. They will be healthier and will learn more throughout their life. So school should be year-round." —Ben

Advantages and Disadvantages of YRE


Intercessions/enrichment courses

Hard to find child care

Increased retention rate

Vacation and tourism loss

Eliminates overcrowding

Minimal student job opportunities

Prevents teacher and student burnout

Famliy schedule conflicts

Increased teacher income

No time for teacher professional development

Efficient use of school space/structures

Teacher burnout

Questions & Answers

Question: What is the age group of the students interviewed for this article? Are these year-round schools mainly one stage of traditional school or does the age span across all schools (elementary, middle, and high)?

Answer: At the time the article was written, the students interviewed were ages 14 to 18. Each school district decides what is best regarding school year schedules. This may apply to elementary, middle or high school.

Question: Does year-round schooling cause a lot of stress for students?

Answer: School can be stressful for any student. A good school will set processes in place to ease the anxiety through events such as orientations and meeting teachers. Over time, students will adapt to whatever schedules are set.

Question: What do teens think about year-round school?

Answer: My article presents arguments for and against traditional and year-round schools based on online and personal research. You may be able to obtain statistics from the Government of Education online.

Question: Do the students of year-round school get better jobs when they grow up?

Answer: I believe every child has the opportunity to excel and follow their dreams and it is the individual's drive that determines what they do with the education they are presented.

Question: What's your opinion on year-round school?

Answer: I believe year-round school benefits certain children and teachers depending on the need and culture.

© 2016 Dianna Mendez


Sophia Smithson on April 28, 2020:

as someone who goes to yrs, i can tell you i hate it. Get rid of hw, not longer breaks!

nolan on January 30, 2020:

school is bad anyway I don't get to see my son at all.

KATIE on May 21, 2019:


Dianna Mendez (author) on April 09, 2019:

Linda, it's an option to be considered. My cousins in California deal with their children going year round (the school is half days). The kids like being out in the afternoon and longer breaks between sessions.

Linda Chechar from Arizona on April 08, 2019:

It's a difficult decision. I do think the kids should go year-round with several short breaks in between. I've heard that kids forget things over the summer that they've learned during the school year. Maybe this will keep them out of trouble if they're in school all year. Who knows?

Middle schooler on January 10, 2019:

I am doing a report on year-round schooling for my English class. I looked at many different sources, but most kept saying the same things. I’m so happy I was able to find your article, as it was definitely the most detailed and best written. I especially appreciate how you interviewed actual students to learn their opinions. Thank you for writing this, it helped a lot.

Larry W Fish from Raleigh on October 26, 2017:

Interesting what you have written about year around schooling. Here in Raleigh, NC my granddaughter went to the yearly concept through grade 5. Her mother and her both like going to school for 9 weeks then being off 3. Starting in grade 6 she then went to the traditional school year. I think it seems silly to have a school sit empty all summer. Just my way of thinking, but I am an old timer, hahaha.

Dianna Mendez (author) on October 17, 2017:

Travis, I am certain the stress level is equally high in both types of programs. Perhaps a small focus group would answer your questions.

travis on October 09, 2017:

could you post stress levels of students in year round school i am doing a debate on it.

Dianna Mendez (author) on October 03, 2017:

Susan and Ann, I too see the advantages of both programs. I would prefer to go year round with afternoons free. The breaks are placed where students can still enjoy time off and be with family.

Susan Ream from Michigan on October 03, 2017:

This was a great article with charts video interviews, etc. Amazing how school hours are approached in different parts of the country. I can see advantages both ways. Thanks for the education. ;)

Ann Carr from SW England on September 29, 2017:

Interesting article; I'm a Brit so we don't have this although many schools are experimenting with 4-term years, to break up long holidays.

Personally I prefer the traditional 3 terms with 6 weeks off for Summer, 2 for Christmas and 2 for Easter, with a week's half-term in Feb, May & October.

I'm sure there are advantages but I liked to have time with the children (and now the grandchildren) when they can go away for more than a couple of weeks.


Dianna Mendez (author) on August 29, 2016:

Hello, Deb! Good questions. The state of California has been running YRE for over two decades now and it seems to work well for teachers and students. I am not sure what you mean by child labor laws. Legally, the age was 14 with a working permit a decade ago. I'm not sure what it is now. I'll have to look that up. My cousins who teach YRE like the breaks between sessions to plan vacations and rest. I am sure it has advantages for them in planning as well. I myself like the longer summer breaks but they seem to pass all too soon. Thanks for contributing interest to the conversation, Deb. Enjoy your day and have a good week.

Dianna Mendez (author) on August 29, 2016:

The student response to this topic was in most part negative. However, they have been attending traditional school years all their life. If a pilot program were run, they may see the advantages. It would be similar to scheduling college courses. I hope your state selects what works for all the students to provide a rounded education. Prayers and hugs, Faith!

Dianna Mendez (author) on August 29, 2016:

Suzette, teachers do need adequate amount of days to rest, probably more so than students. It is, as you say, what promotes the best learning environment that matters above all.

Dianna Mendez (author) on August 29, 2016:

Perhaps testing the YRE would be the best way to decide if it is best for a school system. I believe the YRE calendar prepares students for the reality of work schedules. Peggy, I appreciate your open mind and positive reflection on this topic.

Deb Hirt on August 28, 2016:

This was really something to think about. I think child labor laws would have a problem with this, even though they aren't getting paid. Also, what provisions are going to be in this for teachers?

Faith Reaper on August 26, 2016:

They are contemplating YRS in my state, but I know I loved having my summer vacation growing up.

The teenagers' response are interesting and pretty straightforward. After the reading the comments for YRS, I can see their point though.

I know most teenagers do seem to need that extra sleep in the mornings, so starting school later in the morning may actually be a good idea. I know the children here have to wake up while it's still dark out and wait for the bus to arrive or either arrive at school so early. So, they are in bed so early too. It is quite an adjustment after summer vacation.

Good topic for a hub and I loved that you interviewed students!

suzettenaples on August 26, 2016:

What an interesting article and survey of students. I enjoyed reading students' opinions. I am conflicted on what is best educationally but from a retired teacher's perspective, I couldn't imagine not having my summers to recharge my batteries. I could teach year round, but I'm not sure I would like it. It's a toss up. The final decision should always be what is in the best educational interest of the student.

Peggy Woods on August 26, 2016:

I can see the pros and cons for each argument. Our students need to be prepared to compete in this world on a global level so whatever achieves that best should be considered and perhaps tested. As far as family vacations go...having other times of the year available instead of just summers could be a plus. How many vacations take longer than 15 days? A few might but most probably do not. Good article!

Dianna Mendez (author) on August 25, 2016:

Catherine, I can see the advantages of YRE, especially for those students who need shorter school days but continued instruction to retain knowledge. I like your style!

Dianna Mendez (author) on August 25, 2016:

Eric, your comment made me think of a great option on YRE. Perhaps the first few grades would do well with this set-up. Thanks for coming by here today. Enjoy your week.

Dianna Mendez (author) on August 25, 2016:

Vellur, it would be hard to pass up a summer break for those so reliant upon it for rejuvenation. Thanks for being a part of this conversation, dear friend.

Catherine Giordano from Orlando Florida on August 25, 2016:

I like year round school. Kids forget too much over the summer break. If the parents work, the kids may be unsupervised. It does interfere with things like summer camp and summer jobs, but first things first. Education should come first.

ericdierker on August 22, 2016:

This is really interesting stuff. With a first grader, now, we had to work our butts off all summer keeping him up to speed with what he had already learned. But maybe that is a good thing to shift the teaching to the parents for a couple of months.

Thanks for your insights.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on August 21, 2016:

YRE sounds good, but I do not know if it will be the best for students and teachers. A summer break helps to relax and get out of the daily routine and everyday stress for teachers, students, and parents. An interesting and informative article.

Dianna Mendez (author) on August 20, 2016:

Shauna, I think your suggestion for the work force should be considered by employers. If everyone had the same days off, planning ahead for those absentees, it would give families more time to enjoy themselves and still provide employers with committed employees.

Dianna Mendez (author) on August 20, 2016:

Linda, it would be hard to argue with a longer break between school years. Many families enjoy the time to vacation and relax, especially for teachers.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on August 19, 2016:

I'm sort of on the fence. On the one hand, having a two to three month break (in addition to all the teacher work days Florida kids get off) is something to look forward to - at least from the kids' perspective. From a parental perspective, the summer costs more in daycare or camp due to having to pay for all-day care as opposed to after school care.

Frankly, I wish the work force would adopt either of the schedules you show above. We work all year, 5 days a week. Some of us take actual vacations, while others take a day here and a day there. I would love to have a few weeks off periodically throughout the year or even all summer. Employers can have part-time stand-by crews to fill in during such times. Whoever made up the work 5 get 2 off rule needs a lesson in balance!

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on August 17, 2016:

While I think YRE is a good idea, I still prefer summer breaks for the kids and especially the teachers. Both of my daughters are teachers and I know how much they enjoy their breaks to decompress! :)

Dianna Mendez (author) on August 17, 2016:

Blossom, if parents can impart education through summer activities this would greatly help their education. Well said, my friend!

Dianna Mendez (author) on August 17, 2016:

ChitrangadaSharan, your thoughts on school breaks are what must be considered. Too much time between modules may causes loss of important learning. Enjoy your day!

Bronwen Scott-Branagan from Victoria, Australia on August 17, 2016:

As children, we loved our summer holidays, they were never long enough, there was so much to do. As parents, we considered the holidays as part of our children's education, there were so many extra-curricular activities that were an important part of their learning. Year-round school seems like an opt-out for the parents, but an interesting idea.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on August 17, 2016:

Very interesting to read what everyone thinks about year round education. In India there is a long Summer break for about two months and then 15 days at the end of the year. It has always been like that even then when I was at school .

I believe that small breaks can rejuvenate the children. But long breaks if not utilised constructively can make them dull.

I enjoyed going through your interesting article. Thank you!

Dianna Mendez (author) on August 16, 2016:

Alicia, it is a concept causing lots of thought for parents, children, and administrators. I'm not sure I could make such an easy transition myself to a year-round system but it just may be a better system overall.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on August 15, 2016:

YRE is an interesting concept that some people are promoting where I live. I can see both advantages and disadvantages to the plan, as you and your students have described in this article. Thanks for sharing the information, Dianna. It's certainly thought provoking.

Dianna Mendez (author) on August 15, 2016:

Jo, you and Jackie had the same view on summer vacations: yes, we loved school but lived for summer vacations (and weekends!). The long summer breaks allows for plenty of activities but the modified program allows breaks between shorter learning sessions. I may have enjoyed this as a kid if it were the norm in my community.

Dianna Mendez (author) on August 15, 2016:

Bill, I agree. If something works well then continue on with the program. The push to year-round school has advantages but so does the traditional school program. My concern is that students get enough time to rejuvenate and are given quality education while in school.

Dianna Mendez (author) on August 15, 2016:

Jackie, you and I had the same mother. She allowed us to take a day here and there if the stress of school was tremendous. Thanks for the comment.

Dianna Mendez (author) on August 15, 2016:

Many teens attend summer camps and university programs during summer and this would be a an important issue to address before making the switch to year-round education. Good point, Flourish.

Dianna Mendez (author) on August 15, 2016:

I always loved having three months off to enjoy summer. After looking at the modified calendar, it does seem the breaks are timely with just the right number of days between sessions. Yes, time will tell, however I have heard more educators talk of school year round for the near future.

Jo Miller from Tennessee on August 15, 2016:

I don't really know if this is a good idea or not but have seen studies advocating for it. I do know for sure, though, that I would have hated this idea when I was a kid. I lived for my summer vacations. Though I was a good student, I always thought school was a drag. Summer vacation was when most of the fun things happened.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 15, 2016:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, Dee. I've always been of the opinion that if something is broken then all ideas of remedy are on the table and must be considered. Having said that, I honestly don't know whether this is one remedy that would work.....or wouldn't work....I have no idea.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on August 14, 2016:

I wouldn't like not getting the summer for sure. I mean it breaks up the monotony of school and believe it or not I was an honor roll student who did not like school even being a cheerleader and being in clubs. There was just never enough hours in the day so if I hadn't had summer to look forward to I would have screamed.

I had a really great mom though and sometimes I would just say I need a day off and because I did everything right she always said OK. I just stayed home and rewound & then I was OK. Usually once a year but not always.

I think school could become like prison.

FlourishAnyway from USA on August 14, 2016:

I like using the summer with my teen to send her to accelerated STEM camps and other programs at universities across the country. This gives her exposure to different career fields, diverse geographies and colleges, and lots of different types of people. My intent is that she will be more equipped to make better decisions for herself. Plus, she really enjoys it. For example, in July, she went to Pre-College at Brown University. This just wouldn't be possible and she wouldn't feel like it with a short break of 15 days between sessions. (I can see the advantages of year-round education, however.)

Nell Rose from England on August 14, 2016:

Interesting idea Dianna, not sure what I would have preferred. I still think I would go for the whole summer off, but not sure. it will be interesting to see what happens over there and here in Britain, and elsewhere too.