What Teens Think About Year-Round School


What a novel concept!

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 afterwards that their schedule 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.


Let us know what you think.

What is your opinion of YRE?

  • It should be the norm in our nation.
  • I prefer the traditional school year calendar.
  • I am not fully persuaded on YRE, but it does have advantages.
  • Undecided, I'll go ask my teen(s) and let you know.
See results without voting

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 180 days, 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 nation wide. 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 as a visual image reference.

Comparison of School Calendar Year


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 American 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 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, then 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 was 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 family vacation and are easier for parents to get off work. —Alyssa

You are kidding, right?

The typical response to my question: Would you prefer going to school year-round?
The typical response to my question: Would you prefer going to school year-round? | Source


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 amount 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 less school day 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

Shorter Hours Equal More Pay

"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." | Source

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

An Example of YRE

Advantages & 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 burn out

© 2016 Dianna Mendez

More by this Author


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 months ago from England

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.

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 months ago from USA

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.)

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 months ago from The Beautiful South

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.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 months ago from Olympia, WA

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.

jo miller profile image

jo miller 2 months ago from Tennessee

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.

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 months ago Author

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.

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 months ago Author

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.

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 months ago Author

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.

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 months ago Author

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.

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 months ago Author

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.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 2 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

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.

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 months ago Author

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.

ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 2 months ago from New Delhi, India

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!

BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 2 months ago from Victoria, Australia

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.

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 months ago Author

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!

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 months ago Author

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

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 months ago from Orlando, FL

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! :)

bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 months ago from Central Florida

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!

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 months ago Author

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.

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 months ago Author

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.

Vellur profile image

Vellur 2 months ago from Dubai

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.

ericdierker 2 months ago

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.

CatherineGiordano profile image

CatherineGiordano 2 months ago from Orlando Florida

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.

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 months ago Author

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.

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 months ago Author

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.

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 months ago Author

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!

Peggy Woods 8 weeks ago

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!

suzettenaples 8 weeks ago

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.

Faith Reaper 8 weeks ago

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!

Deb Hirt 8 weeks ago

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?

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 8 weeks ago Author

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.

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 8 weeks ago Author

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.

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 8 weeks ago Author

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!

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 8 weeks ago Author

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.

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