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School’s (Not) Out for Summer

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School’s (Not) Out for Summer

For most students, summer means several months of vacation. But for the 5 million kids in the United States who attend year-round schools, summer is just a continuation of classes. According to Statistic Brain, there are more than 3,000 year-round schools in 46 states.

Year-round schooling can eliminate the “summer achievement gap”, meaning students lose an average of one month of learning over break. With lower income students, it can be as much as a year’s worth of academic skills. This loss is cumulative year after year, so it is significant by the time they get to high school. A Johns Hopkins University study found that summer learning loss during elementary school explained two-thirds of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income ninth graders.

There are several different year-round schooling schedules. The most common are the 45-15 plan (45 days in school, 15 days off), the 60-20 plan (60 days in school, 20 days off) and the 90-30 plan (90 days in school, 30 days off).

Year-round schools can be either single track or multi-track. A single-track calendar means the whole school is on the same schedule, while a multi-track calendar has students on different schedules. Multi-tracks can be used to accommodate more students, since some students are in school while others are on vacation.

Most year-round students are in class the same amount of days – 180 – as students on a traditional schedule.

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