Year-round school: Much better than it sounds

The most dreaded part of the year for students is the long gap between Christmas and Spring Break. We spend many monotonous weeks at school without any reprieve. Yes, we have the weekends, but those are often spent doing homework or catching up on all the sleep we missed during the week. But what if there was something we could do to change that? To make it so we never went to school for extended periods of time without some sort of mental health break. What if we had year round school?

Now, I know that those three words strike much fear into students, but the reality is “year round” school would be an improvement. It doesn’t mean that we’d have no breaks at all. It doesn’t mean that we would never see the light of day until  graduation. Year round school is, in actuality, a more broken up school year. Instead of three months off in the summer, we have weeks off throughout the year and about a month off in the summer. Those weeks off during the year aren’t just a much needed break from the tediousness of school, but also a very healthy mental break. Continuously working your mind day in and day out can’t be healthy. In fact many studies have shown that a child’s brain can’t handle stress due to the fact they are not yet fully developed and the stress from school can cause permanent damage in a teenagers brain. You don’t get smarter by never sleeping so that you have time to study. You improve when you’re mentally secure and well rested. The weeks off throughout the year give students the chance to rest and clear their minds.

It doesn’t mean that we’d have no breaks at all.”

Breaks throughout the year also mean breaks in all the seasons. For those who relish in the winter months, there isn’t much time to ski, ice skate, or sled with our current system. We get three months off in the summer but what about winter, spring, and fall? For those who love all the seasons, weeks off during the year mean time to enjoy each of them immensely.

Now I know how “year round” school sounds, but it’s no less time off then what we have now. Instead, it is different and more broken up time off. No long stretches of school to fry your brain, and no long stretches of breaks to forget everything you learned during the long stretches in which you had no sleep. The current system embraces both extremes; why not try and see what a healthy inbetween looks like?