Schools (not) Out For Summer!
In another post, I had promised Bill Fox that I would create a main post so that a discussion on the value of year round schools could had. I have done some research and I think there is no reason why Loudoun County should not adopt year round schools. It would make optimal use of facilities and staff. It may even have some academic benefits. If nothing else it could allow us to stop building so many new schools. A brief description of the concept can be seen in this 2004 article in Education Week.
“Multi-track year-round schooling is a specific type of year-round education with the primary purpose of alleviating overcrowding in schools. In this system, students and teachers are divided into groups, or tracks, of about the same size. Each track follows its own schedule, so that one track is on vacation while the others are in school. According to NAYRE, implementing a four-track system increases the capacity of a school by 33 percent. Research shows that multi-track year-round schooling can significantly save money if it is used in place of building costly new school facilities (Shields & Oberg, 2000; Bradford, 1995; Brekke, 1992).”
In reading around 8 articles, including recent ones, I did not see any downside to year-round schooling. There were clear benefits to uses of school resources. At worst on the academic side the studies were neutral and many showed a positive effect. I personally would welcome year round schooling as it would make it easier to schedule family vacations at different times of the year. It seems to be a no-brainer in Loudoun County where we need to build more schools. In some areas this could have saved a lot of grief. As an example, if this had been in place at Stone Bridge High School, I imagine it would have easily accommodated the student population problems that had developed there without the massive public issues. I imagine it would even eliminate the need for HS-8 and all the issues surrounding that.
Somebody tell me why not? I didn’t do my usual extensive research. Otherwise I hope the new School Board will move quickly on this and save a bunch of money. They will move from mere heroes to demigods.