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Sports and Year-Round Schools

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Cadet, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    It's known that the U.S. educational system is set on a 9-month calendar due to very outdated agricultural needs -- i.e. the kids can't be in school during the harvest.

    I know of some schools or districts have switched to a "year-round" calendar, where two-week breaks throughout the year make up for the three month block in the summer. I assume this is a similar schedule for colleges on the quarter system.

    In thinking about this tonight, every scholastic athletic governing body I know of (NCAA, state associations, etc.) operates on a 9-month calendar, forcing "spring" sports to practically hold championships before the ground completely thaws to comply with the school calendar.

    What would be the impact if all schools and all sports switched to a 12-month schedule? What if sports like softball, baseball, soccer and track could begin their seasons in April and have championships in September? I think, especially at the college level, it might help to even the playing field (pun intended) for northern schools.

    What could be some pros and cons of a 12-month sport schedule? Issues with coaches? Facilities? Students? Officials? Weather? I'm sure some of you have covered schools with a year-round schedule; what has your experience been? Is it hard for those schools to conform to a 9-month sport schedule?

    Finally, what would the impact be for sports media? It would give us year-round prep coverage, but would it mean that fewer teams participating in a given season (because some would move to summer) means those sports would get more coverage?

    I don't have answers, and I don't have much experience with the topic, but I think it's interesting to ponder. Thoughts?
  2. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    It's an interesting topic and Cadet raises multiple fascinating questions, but I can't imagine the idea of year-round schooling will ever gain a lot of traction. Can you imagine how unfocused kids would be in the dog days of summer? Hell, teachers too.
  3. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    A lot of research shows that kids who go to year-round school achieve at higher levels, when things such as socioeconomic status, family involvement are taken into account. It's becoming very popular in inner-city elementary schools for that reason.

    I think getting a couple weeks off every couple months would solve the attention span issue.
  4. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    My mom used to be a teacher and she said that about every eight weeks or so, you could tell the kids needed a break.
  5. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    OK, then work seven days a week every week, and just only work 5 1/2 hour days. That should help the attention span, because you're getting longer nights away from the office.

    I think year-round schooling is a terrible, terrible, terrible idea. But I don't have studies to back up my position, so I'm sure I'll get shouted down.
  6. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    I hear working parents love it because it solves their three-month day care issue. Of course, they still have occasional two-week day care issues, but it can be less expensive and they can better coordinate days off from work.

    I was just realizing tonight how asinine the 9-month scholastic sport schedule is, especially when things like a baseball championship tournament are threatened by snow.
  7. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Don't kids pretty much average a decent-sized break every eight weeks? Sure, they go nearly three months before a real break from the first day of school thru Thanksgiving, but then there's at least a week (and usually at least 10 days) at Christmas, then a break in February and another one in April. Obviously that's not one break every eight weeks, but the longest period w/o an extended break is when the kids (and teachers) are theoretically at their sharpest and most attentive.

    I'm the son and husband of teachers, so believe me, I'm not minimizing the need for a break for both sides. I agree with IJAG, though, in that the idea of year-round schooling sounds like a bad one to me. But that's just my opinion and I admit it could be clouded by the idea that, well, that's the way it's always been.

    And yes, baseball in the spring in the northeast is a hundred levels of suck.
  8. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    Why does it sound bad? All the research points to it working, in good part because you don't have to do as much reteaching (like in the fall when kids haven't been in school for three months). Just because something's always been one way doesn't mean it should stay that way.
  9. Highway 101

    Highway 101 Active Member

    A year-round middle school opened up when I was in high school.

    All kids who were on a sports team were expected to show up for practice. Because while one set of kids is on break, another set of kids is in session. So half your team could come straight from biology and the other half could be coming from a day of playing Nintendo all morning.

    One reason for year-round schooling is to reduce class size while still getting a per-kid cut from the gov't. You can put more kids in that one school. A campus that can accommodate 1,000 on a 9-month schedule can now accommodate 1,500 kids.

    At least that's the way I remember it.

    But it didn't work in Salinas at that school because so many students were the children of migrant workers who needed the agricultural work in the fields/groves/farms of California.
  10. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    The Iowa high school athletic associations (one for boys, one for girls ... don't ask) do have a summer sports season. Baseball and softball are played (roughly) from mid-May through the end of July.

    While that's a better time of year to play those sports than March and April (especially in the upper Midwest), it does cause some weirdness, such as kids who get out of eighth grade jumping onto the local high school softball team and playing a varsity sport for five years (yes, graduating seniors can still play summer sports). And for families who want to travel or plan other summer activities, it's not much of a break before fall sports begin.

    That sports schedule is unrelated to the "balanced calendar," which I think works pretty well.

    The school year starts in early August and ends a couple of weeks into June. You still get an 8-week summer break, and there's three 2-week breaks between each quarter. And the semester break falls right on the weeks surrounding Christmas and New Year's, which means high school students start fresh when they go back to school in the new year.

    Final benefit of the balanced calendar: One week of the two-week break in fall and spring is used as an optional "intersession" to provide extra-curricular programs or allow kids who are struggling a chance to brush up a bit.
  11. Smash Williams

    Smash Williams Well-Known Member

    I was in a year-round school for fourth and fifth grade (more or less - we had a month off in the summers along with a pair of two-week "intermissions" in the spring and fall, then a three week Christmas break and various days off scattered throughout the year), and it sucked. My mom hated it because we couldn't do summer activities with our friends, she had to figure out child-care when less was available during the intermissions, and scheduling any family trips to see relatives was a nightmare.

    We did have intermission programs available, and those were the only real positives. The problem was, because the school was technically "closed," the school couldn't provide transportation. It was okay for us, because we lived close enough to walk (about 3/4 of a mile), but a lot of kids couldn't go because they relied on busses that didn't run during that time. They also only ran from, I think 10 a.m.-1 p.m., which was very awkward for my mom to figure out who would check in on us while she was working.

    Aside from the intermission programs, I hated it because I never got enough time away from school to enjoy just hanging out and playing and being a kid. The entire year was about school, which I guess is nice from a teaching standpoint, but I think kids also need to have time for being a kid and learning things you don't get in a classroom. I missed out on the general free time that every kid lives for in the summer because my mom was too busy trying to cram seeing every relative and every family vacation for the year into the one summer month off, since it was the only time our schedule meshed with the rest of our relatives.

    If every school went to a year-round system, then some of the problems would be alleviated, obviously. But I much preferred the regular system, and, honestly, both my sister and I were better students when we weren't in a year-round school. That doesn't mesh with the statistics mentioned above, but it was our experience.
  12. I Digress

    I Digress Guest

    My daughter pretty much goes to school 10 months, although they won't admit it here in Flori-duh... I counted the calendar at the beginning of the year.. not counting the two week Christmas break and the one week spring break... it takes her school district 39 weeks to complete 36 weeks of class because they get holidays off that no one else gets (veterans day? off? really...) and they have a plethora of half days and, get this, scheduled parent-teacher conference days that don't actually exist because the actual conferences are in the evenings that week and the scheduled day the schools are closed.
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