Can students benefit from year-round schooling?

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Year-round schooling is often discussed around the beginning of the new school year. There is debate on whether to keep the traditional school calendar where kids go to school for 180 days with an extended summer break, or to move to a year-round calendar.

The year-round model provides built in breaks between 45-60 day sessions of instruction. According to Pikeview High School Assistant Principal, Gretchen Harshbarger, the year-round model could help students remember past lessons.

“The retention rate would be higher and it would help the students not to lose the knowledge base they had gained during the traditional school year,” said Harshbarger.

Although school administrators find year-round schooling beneficial, some parents do not agree. Rodger Martin, a parent from Mercer County, believed summer breaks were not to blame for poor retention.

 “I don’t like the idea, I don’t think it’ll be that beneficial. I think if they just boost up the curriculum a little bit and take the ones that are falling behind and work with them in other ways, in other programs, I think they can catch the kids up to speed.” Martin explained.

Other disadvantages include the fact that not every school has a year-round or balanced calendar. This can be hard for parents who have kids at different schools.

The West Virginia Department of Education will leave this debate up to the individual school districts, allowing them to choose what works best for their students.

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