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Why we should change the school year.

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´╗┐When one-room schoolhouses were still in existence and the society of North America was largely agricultural-based, it was imperative that education would halt during the summer months. Students needed time off to help their families grow and harvest crops; education just got in the way. But gradually society changed in North America. The majority of Canadians and Americans was no longer making an agrarian living, but a living required them to move to urban America. Since most students no longer live on a farm, it is no longer essential that they be given long intercessions in the summer between the school year. Therefore a new system would seem appropriate. This new system is known as the balanced calendar. Rather than having a two-month long summer, as in the traditional calendar, the balanced calendar entails a summer shortened to one month and the winter and spring breaks lengthened to one month each. Students would be in school from September to November, January to March, and May to July, with all of December, April, and August off. ...read more.


Many students, especially younger ones who cannot be employed for a summer job, may become bored with a lengthy summer. A shortened summer would provide a better emotional atmosphere for the holidays. Parents will be greatly relieved for no longer having to hear their child say every ten minutes ?I?m bored.? The switch to a balanced calendar would ultimately result in a more efficient use of the time allotted for school breaks. Another effect of the balanced calendar system is that it results in a more pleasing school environment. Students will not become as bored at school. With long periods of in-school days, students become very uninterested in school are itching for the holidays to begin. On the other hand, with frequent holidays, boredom will not be as much of a problem with students and the regular month-long periods will give them time to refresh themselves and take their mind of school. The use of the balanced calendar will also affect the students? stress levels. In a traditional calendar, all learning is compacted together, requiring students to complete tasks in a shorter period of time. ...read more.


In Ontario, a study was done on seven schools that had switched to the balanced calendar system by comparing their results of a reading and mathematics test taken in grade three with the results in other schools. In reading, students in these seven schools scored, on average, significantly higher than students who attended schools with the traditional calendar did. In mathematics, third-graders on the balanced calendar system also scored, on average, considerably higher than other students did. In both cases, fewer students on the balanced calendar were not meeting expectations and many more were exceeding expectations. A balanced calendar simply results in greater academic achievement among students. Overall, the balanced calendar system is much more practical for our society, creating vacation time that is spent more effectively, a school environment that is more desirable, and grades that are more satisfying. With all these advantages, why stick to the traditional calendar? Life in North America has changed. Our lifestyle is no longer based largely upon the industry of agriculture. Why does the school calendar have to remain adaptive to a long gone society? It is high time that the school system be made more effective at what it was implemented to do: educating the world?s youth. ...read more.

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