Questioning the calendar as new school year begins

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Questioning the calendar as new school year begins

Photo courtesy of Chapelfield.org

Photo courtesy of Chapelfield.org

Photo courtesy of Chapelfield.org

Photo courtesy of Chapelfield.org

Nina Bell, Contributing Writer

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Summers for students in the United States are for sitting, relaxing, and soaking up the sun for three months. However, as the United States is evolving, the controversy continues to escalate on whether America’s schools should continue to have a 9-month school year.

In the 1800s and early 1900s, school emerged as a necessity in American society.  It was decided that kids of all ages needed the summer off to maintain their family farms and work until all goods were plucked and harvested. This schedule became known as the agrarian-based calendar and influences the way America distributes the school year today.

On one side, Americans are advocating to maintain summer vacation for students. Although society is no longer relying heavily on farming, people see the need for a long, well-deserved break for adolescents.

For certain students, school puts a heavy toll on them because they are forced to balance academics and activities on a daily basis. Long nights filled with homework and three hour sport practices make it difficult for some kids to concentrate all year long.

Summer has always been something that junior Melanie Ng highly anticipates.

“I would rather have a long summer because I want a break from the stresses that school brings,” Ng said. “Also, I like having school for nine months then a three month break because it gives me something to look forward to.”   

On the other hand, some educators and parents suggest that abolishing the agrarian-based calendar would be the most beneficial for students.

As America continues to develop as a country, urbanization is overruling the rural backbone of the U.S. Urbanization resulted in crops no longer being the main source of work for families.

Some argue that this shift in our society means the U.S. should no longer operate on an agrarian-based calendar because it is no longer useful in society. Instead, America should be focusing on maximizing students’ education by having year-round schooling.

Math teacher Ankeet Mantra describes the detriments of a three month summer break.  

“Students would benefit from a year round school year with shorter breaks throughout without long 2-3 month breaks,” Mantra said. “It is a common occurrence for students to forget material especially in math where material continues to build from the previous year.”

Although the frustrations of school can be immense, freshman Andrew Berryhill has no problem with year round school; he enjoys the social setting that school brings.

“I wouldn’t mind year round school because I like getting to see my friends on a daily basis,” Berryhill said. “During the summer, I don’t get to see the majority of people I like hanging out with in my classes.”