Summer break: big fun or giant headache?

Jun 22, 2011

Summer vacation is a time for school kids to stretch their legs, turn off their brains and run wild for a couple months before buckling down and getting back to learning. At least, that’s what it is now. Way back when, summer vacation was an economic and public health necessity. Schools in big urban areas were too poorly ventilated to stuff full of sweaty kids for 6 or so hours every day. Public health officials considered hot, stuffy classrooms an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and germs and worried that disease would spread rapidly in that environment. In agricultural areas many kids had to take off school and work on the family farm during the summer months. Things have obviously changed, though and recent studies have shown that kids lose a lot of what they learned the previous year while they’re hanging out at the beach all summer. That and the childcare issues many parents face are prompting some to call for the end of the summer vacation. But, year round school ain’t cheap and we’re facing massive budget shortfalls all over the country. Is the expensive worth higher test scores? And how would you as a parent, teacher, or student feel about losing your break? Or, if you already have, how’s year round school working for you?

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