Recently, the Georgia legislature began serious discussions about adopting a schedule that aligned more to the rest of the nation: Starting after labor day and going until late June. Another topic that has also been brought up is that of adopting a year-round calendar which allows for year-round schooling, but with more frequent breaks. In the first of this Oracle revitalized feature, staff members Dream Nelson and Isabelle Mokotoff square off in the imaginary courtroom to debate the pros and cons of this matter.
For the Prosecution: Dream Nelson: Let’s Have School Year Round!
The phrase “school year round” sounds dreadful to students everywhere but has been considered by counties all over Georgia and is now up for discussion in the Georgia capital building. The concept is to have longer breaks but a shorter summer. This would allow for more breaks also none of that summer brain students get after being absent from school for so long. While school all year may seems drastic, it actually has many benefits.
Holding school all year round could alter what a semester is and how many credits a student may receive in a year. This could be beneficial when it comes to applying for college because it could provide an advantage against the other school that have a long summer vacation.
Students who attend year round school could become better disciplined and retain more information compared to students who leave for summer vacation but who don’t retain information about their studies from the previous year.
Since 2012, 4% of public schools have operated on year-round schedules. These numbers have increased ever since that time. In 2015, the National Association for year-round education re-opened; it conducts research about year round education and believes that this model represents the way school calendars should function year-round.
The school system has proven to be difficult and stressful to a majority of public school students. This change could be benefit the lives and work ethic of tons of students who find school miserable and everlasting without more frequent breaks. A weekend here or there when there is a teacher workday, or a week off once in a blue moon, would benefit students and also allow teachers to recharge their batteries.
Some counties in Georgia, including Cobb, adopted a year-round schedule like this several years ago and have noted these benefits. Taking a risk like this for the whole state might just be worth it when it comes to the benefit of students’ health and mindset about their education.
For the Defense: Isabelle Mokotoff: Keep Our Summer Break!
6:45 am: Wake up and get ready for the day.
7:45 am: Arrive at school, finish up any extraneous work I was too tired to complete the previous night.
8:20 am: Sit down at my desk. Hurry from class to class for the remainder of the school day. Rush to finish all of my assignments on time. Try to take good notes, try to understand the material that is taught.
3:40 pm: Leave school and drive to my extracurricular activity of the day.
6:15 pm. Arrive home, take a plate of dinner up to my room and begin to work on homework, projects and essays. Study for the myriad of tests scheduled in my seven classes.
11:30 pm: Get ready for bed.
12:00 am: Fall asleep, just in time to obtain around seven hours, obviously less than the optimum eight to ten recommended for teenagers.
As a junior at North Springs, I am confident most of my peers will find this narrative relatable. From August to May, we follow the same monotonous routine of the American student, rarely allowing ourselves to partake in activities which we find genuinely enjoyable. In addition, we often overextend ourselves in attempt to apply ourselves and reach our fullest potential; unfortunately to the point of putting our physical and mental health in jeopardy. We need a break to recuperate and engage endeavors that we truly love. In other words, summer break is essential to the well-being and personal growth of any teenager.
At minimum, we need to maintain the current 10-week scheduled summer break, if not increase its length. Although arguments can be made that students cannot retain their knowledge over the long break, I argue that the abundance of summer assignments given to us enable students to maintain any academic prowess we achieved in the previous year.
In terms of summer break as it pertains to individual prosperity and health, as a result of personal experiences, I believe that, if utilized correctly, the present length of summer break is necessary. This summer, I underwent wisdom teeth removal surgery, a procedure imperative to my physical wellness, from which I took a week to recover. After my rehabilitation, I served as a paid camp counselor for four weeks, during which I learned how to care for others and came to realize the value of working for my paycheck. Then, I attended a summer program where I took classes about which I was passionate; the program also allowed me to flourish socially. With the two weeks remaining in summer, I completed my summer assignments and spent time with my family.
After dissecting and analyzing the activities which comprised my summer break, it is apparent I needed the full 10 weeks. And, as many students will attest to, their similar schedules require the 10 week break as well. Therefore, I believe it is beneficial for students to maintain the current length of summer.