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I read with interest this story (opens in a new window) from the Washington Post that describes one family’s experience with year round school.

As a Mom who juggles work and young kids, the transition to summer for my family is nothing short of absolutely chaotic. My house has become nothing but bags (one for camp, one for swim team, one for bug spray and sunscreen, etc) and wet towels from the pool. We’ve been out of school since June 5 and we’ve yet to find our summer groove.

From Schulte’s Post article:
Both President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan have called the traditional school day and school year outdated and inadequate for the demands of 21st-century life. Students in countries that routinely outscore the United States on international tests go to school for as many as 230 days each year, 50 more than kids typically attend here. “Go ahead and boo me,” Duncan said in April to Denver students. “I think schools should be open six, seven days a week, eleven, twelve months a year.”

And we know the effect of summer on kids at risk, the “summer slide” that eats away at the progress kids make during the school year. Year-round school doesn’t have to mean the same thing every day all year long. As Schulte describes, her school uses intersessions, which are designed to be full of hands-on, big project classes.

Clearly this is a big topic, one I’m touching on too lightly to present all the issues clearly. But for me, this week, year round school doesn’t sound half bad.

In case you’re interested, Brigid Schulte did an online Question/Answer (opens in a new window) following the publication of her article.

About the Author

Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.

Publication Date
June 30, 2009