Longer School Years Create Debate Locally

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September 29, 2010

It's a simple enough concept, keep students in school classrooms by as much as a month longer into the summer and hope they learn more because of it.

"We're like teenagers and we want to have our summers," Sadie Renteria, Wichtia North High Sophomore said.

Parents have mixed opinions on extending the school year.

"I think it would be a good idea because we do lack on our education compared to most countries." Jim Allen, parent said.

"I don't think it's necessary and from I hear Kansas is going upwards," Sarah Shryack said.

For some parents, a month more of school infringes on family vacation time. Others say children have more time than they know what to do with in the summer now.

Another parent, Nicole Green says kids can fall behind during their time off.

"And they fall behind during the summer, as well. They go back to school and they've forgotten everything they learned the year before. It takes a month or two to get them back to the previous year." Green said.

And that’s one of the reasons experts give, along with the president for a longer school year to keep students from forgetting their lessons.

"Which is one of the reasons it's referred to as a continuous learning calendar because you don't have that large lull in the summer months where students tend to relapse on the things they've learned and then the 1st five or six weeks of school in the fall is spent kind of reviewing," WSU Associate Dean College of Education Shirley LeFever–Davis said.

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