Year-round school a plus

My younger self would kill me for saying it, but I’m in favor of year-round schooling.

I know it’s possible I may be assaulted by a gangs of schoolchildren, but I’m sticking to my guns.

When I was a kid, summer seemed to last forever. Then again, when I was a kid, summer vacation was actually a full three months, not the whittled-down version it is now.

Now that I’m a parent, Summer is gone in the blink of an eye.

The United States needs to get off its keister and make some real changes when it comes to education. As a country, our numbers are in the sewers. And, in West Virginia, we’re close to the bottom of the list. It’s not a place we want to be; we’re in a hole, and we just can’t seem to dig our way out.

I know summer vacations are a precious American tradition among families. We pack up and head to the beach, or whatever our destination of preference. I love spending time with my child as much as anybody. But, in my view, I wouldn’t be losing that with a year-round calendar.

The truth is we need to pull ourselves out of this funk and stop doing things just because it’s the way we’ve always done it.

Think about it.

There are many benefits of having a calendar where children attend school for three months at a time with a month in between (or even something similar). There would be less “brain drain” at the start of the school year after two and a half months of Xbox or Nintendo.

The most obvious drawback to year-round school is the perceived detriment to the family structure. Not having a summer break could make it difficult to schedule a vacation.

But are we really so wrapped up in our work lives and set in our ways that we couldn’t adjust? Personally, I don’t believe I would have any more difficulty scheduling a break from work to coincide with a school break. After all, the school breaks would still be scheduled. We would know about them well in advance.

I suppose another argument is child care. Then again, aren’t day care centers usually businesses at heart? They would find away to adjust, rather than losing income. Maybe it’s me, but I don’t see why it would be a problem.

I’m a big fan of teachers, and I feel West Virginia needs to increase their pay. In my opinion, our pay scale is shameful. That being said, I don’t think teachers need a two-and-a-half-month break at the end of the year. If anything, they could probably use the money. Not only that, but they also would get the same or similar more-frequent breaks as children in a year-round calendar.

One argument I’ve heard is taking away summer removes an opportunity for high school students to get part-time jobs. What about work study? Is that not a viable option? It’s something all high-schoolers should be doing anyway.

There’s no doubt in my mind: The more intense bursts of study in a year-round calendar would be a benefit to our education system. Children would learn on a more consistent basis and still would benefit from more-frequent but shorter breaks.

For me, it’s a no brainer.