Year-Round Schooling

16 Ideas for Making Your Yearbook Easier, Stress-free, and Student-led


Yearbooks have long been a cherished keepsake for high school students. Immortalizing memories and commemorating academic years gone by, they help archive life-long friendships and incredible achievements. As ambitious a project as it is, compiling an entire yearbook can be made more manageable by following these 16 ideas for creating an easier, stress-free experience with student-led involvement.

1. Assemble a dedicated team:

Utilize clubs or school organizations to gather a group of students passionate about graphic design, photography, and writing to delegate the yearbook workload.

2. Set clear timelines:

Establish deadlines for each stage of production. This will encourage prompt submissions from students and streamline the editing process.

3. Utilize online tools:

Utilize free online design tools like Canva to create professional-looking layouts without purchasing expensive software.

4. Create a centralized yearbook inbox:

Designate a specific email address for all students to send their contributions like photos, quotes, and other content relevant to the yearbook.

5. Delegate with committees:

Divide tasks among committees to ensure the focus remains on individual sections like sports, faculty pages, and extracurricular activities.

6. Establish clear communication:

Hold regular meetings with the yearbook team to maintain clear communication about progress updates, challenges faced, and any help needed.

7. Develop templates:

Create templates for each section of the yearbook to save time and ensure consistency in design.

8. Crowdsourcing:

Encourage participation from all students by asking them to submit ideas, photographs or designs via social media platforms or the yearbook inbox.

9. Host “Yearbook Signing” events:

Dedicate a few days during lunch or immediately after school for students to sign each other’s yearbooks in a relaxed atmosphere.

10. Fundraising initiatives:

Leverage bake sales, car washes or merchandise sales to fund the expenses associated with yearbook publication and printing.

11. Encourage creativity:

Cultivate an environment where students feel comfortable contributing original ideas to make the yearbook unique.

12. Utilize a proofreading system:

Implement a thorough proofreading process comprising of multiple revisions and editors to minimize mistakes before printing.

13. Create a strong support network:

Build strong relationships with faculty advisors and other school staff members for guidance throughout the yearbook process.

14. Recognize your contributors:

Show appreciation to the student-led team by dedicating a “Thank You” page in the yearbook acknowledging their hard work.

15. Troubleshoot and learn from setbacks:

When challenges arise, encourage open dialogue with the team on how best to overcome obstacles to maintain overall project momentum.

16. Celebrate success:

Once the yearbook is published, recognize the efforts of everyone involved by hosting a celebratory event or recognizing them at a school assembly.


By implementing these 16 ideas, schools can facilitate an enjoyable experience in creating a memorable yearbook while involving students at every step. Foster teamwork and collaboration for an empowering collective accomplishment that will be remembered for years to come!

17 Awesome Ways to Celebrate the End of the School Year

As the school year comes to a close, it’s essential to find creative and memorable ways to celebrate the end of a long and challenging journey. Whether your child is finishing elementary school, junior high, or high school, they deserve a fun and memorable celebration. Here are 17 awesome ideas for celebrating the end of the school year:

1. Organize a school-wide picnic: Have families contribute by bringing their favorite dishes and organize games and activities for everyone to enjoy.

2. Host an award ceremony: Recognize each student’s unique talents by handing out certificates or small prizes in categories like “Most Improved” or “Class Clown.”

3. Plan a field day: Set up various stations with different activities such as sack races, water balloon tosses, and relay races for an action-packed day.

4. Hold a talent show: Showcase students’ unique skills in a light-hearted competition where everyone can cheer each other on.

5. Organize a class party: Set up a theme and have students dress accordingly for an unforgettable night of food, games, and entertainment.

6. Host an outdoor movie night: Set up a large screen outdoors and watch a family-friendly movie under the stars with popcorn and blankets.

7. Throw a pool party: As summer approaches, organize a pool party with water-themed games like Marco Polo or pool volleyball.

8. Create DIY yearbooks: Have students assemble their own yearbooks filled with photos, artwork, and messages from their friends.

9. Visit an amusement park: Gather classmates and chaperones for a full day of thrills at a local amusement park.

10. Plan a community service project: Encourage civic engagement by organizing an end-of-the-year group volunteer project such as planting trees or cleaning up litter in your community.

11. Go on an educational excursion: Arrange for an educational field trip to your local museum, zoo, or planetarium.

12. Host a theme-based potluck: Get families involved by hosting a potluck with a fun theme like “Around the World” or “A Day at the Beach.”

13. Attend a sports game: Cheer on your local sports team as a class and celebrate teamwork both on and off the field.

14. Conduct a scavenger hunt: Create a list of clues and organize teams of students to race through your school grounds, completing fun challenges along the way.

15. Host a karaoke party: Set up a karaoke machine in your school gym or community center for an evening full of singing, dancing, and laughter.

16. Create a “passport” activity: Encourage students to visit different locations within the school where teachers oversee various educational activities. Once completed, students receive stamps for their end-of-the-year “passport.”

17. Orchestrate a flash mob: Rehearse a choreographed dance routine with students and surprise unsuspecting classmates or faculty members with an impromptu performance.

There’s no shortage of ways to celebrate the end of the school year! These 17 ideas provide plenty of inspiration to honor a fantastic year of learning, growth, and accomplishments.

12 Sweet Ways to Wrap Up This Unusual School Year


The 2020-2021 school year has been an unusual one, with distance learning, virtual classrooms, and adapted schedules becoming the new normal. As we come to the end of this challenging school year, it’s essential to recognize and celebrate the achievements of students and educators alike. Here are 12 sweet ways to wrap up this unusual school year.

1. Virtual Awards Ceremony

Host a virtual awards ceremony to honor students for their academic achievements, character development, and other impressive feats. Parents and teachers can nominate deserving candidates, while students can watch the event from the comfort of their homes.

2. Time Capsule Project

Have students collect pictures, artwork, journal entries, or written reflections about their experiences during this unusual school year. Create a collective time capsule that can be revisited in future years to remember these remarkable times.

3. Car Parade Celebration

Organize a car parade where teachers, parents, and students decorate their vehicles according to a theme and take part in a celebratory procession around the local community.

4. Customized Yearbooks

Design personalized yearbooks for each student, including photos, messages from teachers and peers, and highlights from the school year that capture each person’s unique experience.

5. Video Montage

Compile clips of students participating in various school activities throughout the year – virtual or in-person – into a memorable video montage that parents and students can cherish.

6. Online Talent Show

Allow students to showcase their talents in a virtual talent show. Acts can include singing, dancing, magic tricks, or any other performance that celebrates creativity and skill.

7. Themed Dress-Up Days

Organize themed dress-up days where students can wear costumes related to specific themes such as superheroes or favorite book characters during remote learning sessions or on-campus events.

8. Gratitude Messages

Encourage students to share messages of gratitude with their classmates, teachers, or school staff. These messages can be presented as digital posters, video recordings, or personal notes to brighten someone’s day.

9. Outdoor Learning Celebration

Plan a safe and engaging outdoor learning event where students can participate in hands-on activities while practicing social distancing guidelines.

10. Distance Learning Awards

Acknowledge the unique challenges students overcame during distance learning by presenting awards for categories such as “Most Improved in Remote Learning” or “Best Zoom Background.”

11. Class Webpage

Create a special class webpage commemorating the school year, featuring photos, art projects, writing assignments, quizzes, and other examples of students’ work. Make sure to include the progress they made despite facing many challenges.

12. Teacher Appreciation Day

Celebrate the amazing efforts and dedication of teachers during this unusual school year by organizing a virtual teacher appreciation day filled with heartfelt thank you videos and kind words from students and parents.


As this extraordinary school year comes to an end, let’s celebrate our resilience and creativity by sharing memorable moments and honoring accomplishments. With these twelve creative ideas, you can wrap up this unusual school year on a sweet note.

Your Last-Minute Guide to Creating a Yearbook


Creating a fantastic yearbook is an excellent way to preserve memories from a hectic, busy school year. Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed thinking about how to create it or simply procrastinating, this last-minute guide will help you ensure that your yearbook becomes the keepsake everyone looks forward to receiving.

1. Gather Your Content

You can’t start creating your yearbook without knowing what’s going to be in it. Make a list of all the events, teams, clubs, and special moments you want the yearbook to include. Additionally, gather photos from throughout the year and ask students and teachers for any missing ones.

2. Choose a Yearbook Theme

Picking a theme can bring consistency between pages and make your yearbook look more unified. Think about the highlights of the school year or any specific events that stood out. Once you have chosen your theme, decide on a color scheme and font set that match well with it.

3. Assign Pages and Deadlines

With so many pages to complete in such limited time, it’s important to delegate tasks amongst your team. Break down the overall project into smaller assignments with clear deadlines so everyone knows what they are responsible for and when it needs to be completed.

4. Create Eye-Catching Page Layouts

Now that you know the content for each page, focus on creating attention-grabbing layouts that showcase everything well-organized. Use design software like Adobe InDesign or simple online tools like Canva to create templates for each page type (e.g., academic section or sports team) and ensure consistency throughout the book.

5. Write Engaging Captions and Headlines

Captions should bring life to each photo by adding context and telling a story while keeping headlines short but impactful. Utilize your theme as inspiration for both headlines and captions, ensuring they adhere to the selected tone and style of the yearbook.

6. Proofread and Edit

Errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation can take away from the overall quality of your yearbook. Carefully proofread each page multiple times and ask fellow students or teachers to provide additional help in spotting errors.

7. Print and Distribute

Once you’re satisfied with your work, it’s time to send it to a printing company. Make sure to communicate your desired deadline, the number of copies, paper type, and any specific printing preferences. Allow for some buffer time as the process may uncover minor issues that need to be fixed before final delivery.


Creating a yearbook at the last minute can be overwhelming and challenging, but it’s not impossible. With detailed planning, delegated tasks, smart use of resources, and relentless teamwork, you’ll find yourselves holding the completed yearbook that will surely serve as an unforgettable memory for years to come.

Should the U.S. Switch to Year-Round Schooling?

The traditional school year, with roughly three months of vacation time every summer, was first implemented when America was primarily an agricultural society.  We have changed as a nation; today, over 2 million U.S. students attend school on year-round schedules every year in around 3,000 schools in 46 states — and the majority of U.S. K-12 students aren’t spending summers off tilling fields or harvesting crops. The question is, should the American school system switch to year-round schooling?

The phenomena known as the “summer slide,” where students actually lose knowledge with too much time away from school, coupled with kids who must spend those months in camps or child care due to working parents, are two reasons proponents of year-round schooling cite as it needing to implemented nationwide.

As with all change, certain considerations will arise and must be addressed, though. Making the switch would not be easy for students, teachers or their parents – but is it best?  Here are three important considerations when considering year-round schooling as a nationwide norm.

1. How are the students affected? 

Foremost, we must examine the impact a year-round school schedule has on the people it most affects – the students.   A long-time thorn in the side of K-12 educators has been the above mentioned “summer slide.” The National Summer Learning Association often cites decades of research that support the claim that students really do forget or unlearn things they have learned when too much time off is given between classroom sessions.  A study released in 2007 by The Ohio State University, however, found that there are really no differences in learning between students who attend school year-round, and those who are on a traditional schedule.

While the overall student numbers show no significant differences in learning for better or worse, at-risk students tend to do better in year-round setups. Studies have found that disadvantaged students lose about 27 percent more of their learning gains in the summer months than their peers. By being in school the same number of days, but with shorter breaks, these students are able to keep their minds on a learning track that may not otherwise be fostered at home in the off-months.

2.  How are the teachers affected?

Every job comes with its share of headaches and at one point or another, employees in all industries claim that they are “burned out.” Teaching is unique when it comes to burn out, though, because an unmotivated, exhausted teacher has a direct effect on the young people in his or her classroom. Summers off has long been the light at the end of the tunnel for teachers, particularly in urban areas with higher discipline problems and overcrowded classrooms. In a year-round setting, lengthy breaks are gone, replaced with shorter, more frequent ones instead. Though the loss of those summer months may at first seem like a drawback, many teachers end up liking greater frequency in time off. With shorter, more concentrated spurts of instruction, teachers can exert more energy and face the daily struggles with the hope that there will be relief soon. There is still as much time off, but it is more evenly distributed.

One important consideration for teachers is the effect of year-round schooling on their pocket books.In most scenarios, teachers make the same amount of money in their districts whether they work at a year-round or traditional school, though the pay schedules may differ. Teachers who made extra money teaching summer school still have that option in year-round districts that offer remedial courses during break periods. Where some teachers see the biggest economic cut when they teach year-round is in the three months of summer that other teachers often seek out part-time or seasonal work. Based on the type of work, this could mean a loss of income in the thousands every year. For teachers satisfied with holding down just one job and paycheck, a year-round schedule may not have any economic impact on their families at all.

3.  How does year-round schooling affect the economy? 

Each individual community will feel a different economic impact when it comes to year-round schooling. A tourist community with summer attractions, for example, may feel more of a squeeze if its low-cost employee pool of high school students is suddenly in class instead. The same could be said for ski communities though that could benefit from multi-track scheduling of high school students during its busiest seasons. The summer months tend to be when most high school students earn the most money, however, because there is a significant duration of time with no school responsibilities. Without those months of a steady paycheck, students (and parents) stand to lose potential college money. Trying to work and maintain a job alongside classes can have a negative impact on grades according to most research and most employers cannot accommodate students who are only available two or three week spans at a time.

So the potential economic cost of year-round schooling is two-fold: the individual student may suffer financially, and the local businesses may have to pay out more for jobs that are better-suited for high school students who do not have the time off to work them.

What other considerations do you associate with year-round schooling?


Year-Round Schooling: Everything You Need to Know

In the year-round schooling method, K-12 students in the United States go to school all around the year while having a couple of breaks during the year. This schooling system can either be single-track (ST) with unified attendance or multi-track (MT) with staggered attendance plans. Schools can also choose to combine both tracks in their approach to year-round schooling.  While for the single-track method, both staff and students follow the same calendar, while in the multi-track method, staff and students don’t have to follow the same calendar. Instead, they are separated into staggered instructional blocks and break schedules. 

Furthermore, single-track and multi-track systems can be very varied. For example, the 60-20 schedule features the division of the school year into three sixty-day class schedules and three twenty-day breaks.  This schedule has a variation, where there could be three- to four-week breaks, and can be utilized via either the single or multi-track systems. The 60-20/60-15 schedule is pretty popular, now routinely utilized by approximately one-third of year-round academic institutions in the United States. 

Another example is the 45-15 schedule, which approximately 40% of year-round schools use. For this schedule, fifteen days break period follows forty-five days of teaching/education. A variation of this schedule is the 45-10 schedule, where an extra four-week break is given to staff members and students. As with the previous schedule, this one can also be used in the single- or multi-track system.

Year-round schooling has several pros. For one, it helps students steer clear of the dreaded “brain drain,” which many experienced earlier during their long summer breaks. This model of schooling also helps in better retention of the knowledge and skills students have learned, which has been demonstrated by their higher scores on some standardized tests. Earlier, students used to show losses in their language and math knowledge over the long summer break. They also faced problems when trying to re-acclimate themselves to their peers, teachers, the school schedule and its rules and expectations, and non-academic demands, like participation in sports, after a long summer break.

Some parents are unhappy with the year-round model as they say it won’t give families adequate time to go on vacations. Opponents of year-round schooling also say that more frequent and shorter breaks will be problematic for students who want to engage in non-school related activities (like parks and recreation activities, summer camps, etc.) and sports or wish to take up summer job opportunities.

How to Implement a Year Round Schooling System

Do you feel year-round schools would be a good choice for your district? The article that follows offers information on how to transition to a year-round school format, if you choose to go that route.

First, you need to decide what type of year-round school scheduling system you will use. Year-round schools are usually set up as single-track (ST) with unified attendance or multi-track (MT) with staggered attendance programs. Some schools use a combination of the two. The main difference between the two systems is that single-track allows the entire student and staff population to adhere to the same calendar, and multi-track separates students and teachers and places each in one of several staggered instructional blocks and vacation schedules.

To make this even more complicated, the single-track and multi-track systems can have different variations. In the 60-20 schedule, the school year is separated into three sixty-day sessions with three twenty-day vacations. A variation on this schedule is the 60-15, which provides for an additional three- to four-week collective vacation. This plan can be used with either the single-track or multi-track system. Collectively, these calendars are used by a little more than a third of year-round schools in America.

Lastly, let’s talk about two year-round calendars that are used by around 40 percent of year-round schools. In the 45-15 schedule, forty-five days of instruction are followed by fifteen days of vacation time. The related 45-10 schedule provides an additional four-week vacation for staff and students. Again, these plans can be implemented in either a single-track or multi-track system (Quinlan et al. 1987).

Choosing an implementation team

Before attempting to set up a year-round school in your district, it is important to get approval from at least 80 percent of your faculty, staff, and parents. This will require a number of meetings, presentation of literature on the subject, and time for discussion. If you do not get approval, you should strongly reconsider implementing a year-round system in your district. Assuming that you will receive the necessary approval, let’s move on to the next steps.

When transitioning to a year-round school setup, you must first assemble the implementation team. Groups no larger than seven usually work best. The team can be made up of a variety of district personnel and staff. Implementation teams normally consist of a school board member, the superintendent and assistant superintendents, principals, teachers, and other pertinent individuals.

Once the team is created, efforts must be made to assess the district’s capacity for implementing and sustaining year-round schools. The team must ask itself whether the district has all of the resources needed to implement and sustain a year-round system. In extreme cases, when the district feels it is unable to coordinate its own implementation efforts, the team may want to consider hiring an experienced educational consulting firm to oversee the process. There are many well-qualified firms that will be able to either work in conjunction with an implementation team or oversee the process themselves. Note, however, that this can turn into an enormous job with a significant price tag.

The consulting team or team leader must be committed to developing and implementing innovative strategies that have the potential to effectively produce educational change. Simply assembling a top-notch team is not enough, however. All of the major administrators, including the superintendent and school board, must fully support the decisions of the implementation team.

Remember that parents, community leaders, and policymakers must also be included in the process. Many parents are involved in their students’ educational plans and want to be informed of any changes. The implementation team will need to decide if parents and community leaders should be included as formal members of the team, or to simply elicit their advice and expertise as needed. When making decisions concerning which individuals will populate the team, remember to include members that have the expertise to be taken seriously within the district.

Involving parents and community members in the implementation process might provide the restructuring team with a way to engage other members of the community, such as grassroots organizations, local business leaders, and area politicians. Community members can also assist the school in choosing the correct year-round school system and schedule. It is vital for the team to understand the culture of the community, its needs and wants, and the life skills its young people require.

If the school would like to create fundraisers to assist in the efforts to transition to a year-round school system, it is important that the community members understand why the school wants extra money and why they should give the extra money. If the community members disagree with the changes being made, they will be less likely to participate or contribute to the cause.

Having an implementation team is an important component in a successfully transition to a year-round school system. The task of choosing the leader and deciding on the roles of the implementation team should not be taken lightly. In many instances, the leader of the implementation team will be the superintendent or someone he or she appoints. Alternatively, the leader and other members of the team can be voted in. The leader must be held accountable for ensuring the success of the entire team as it moves to implement and sustain year-round schooling. The leader’s roles might include, but are not restricted to, determining the areas of expertise the team members bring to the table and how he or she can utilize that expertise.

Implementing a year-round schooling system

 To ensure the minimum amount of time is spent on implementing the system, the leader will need to establish a standing meeting time and develop an agenda to utilize time to the fullest extent possible. The leader must decide if the team should have mandatory or optional meetings. If the meetings are optional, the leader must decide how information is disseminated to members who do not attend meetings. Prepared agendas are essential for smooth meetings and excellent communication within the team.

Once the year-round system is approved by all team members, the plan will need to be approved by the superintendent before it is presented to the school board. The same rules apply whether implementation is needed by one school or by all the schools in the district.

A concern, alluded to in the comments above, is the need to assess the district’s capacity for implementing and sustaining a year-round schooling system. To appropriately assess the abilities of the district or school, the leader will need to complete an inventory of the pros and cons. If the inventory concludes that the district or school does not have the capacity to implement or sustain the plan, it may be wise to suspend the idea until you have the necessary capacity.

Often, volunteer team members do not understand the dedication and length of time it will take to carry out the transition to a year-round schooling schedule. Before the team starts to implement the necessary changes, the leader will need to stress to all team members the enormity of the task, the number of hours the members will need to dedicate to the project, and what is at stake.

Once the team’s year-round schooling plan has been approved, it is time to implement the approved plan. First, the implementation team will discuss possible impediments to the approved plan and ensure the team has a contingency plan in place to deal with the issues as they arise. Next, they should implement their target goals and timelines. The leader will need to appoint a member of the implementation team to take on the responsibility of collecting, reporting, and evaluating any data collected. The leader will use the data collected to continuously revise and refine the team’s implementation efforts, as well as report their findings to the superintendent and/or the school board.

A useful tool for education specialists considering a move to year-round school years is the “Year-Round Education Program Guide” published by the California Department of Education. The guide takes you through the process of deciding on and implementing a year-round schooling calendar. The steps below are taken from the guide.

Implementation steps

  • Select schools and grade levels.
  • Establish a process for resolving issues.
  • Select and approve a calendar by working with employee groups.
  • Assess the need for facilities modifications, including shade modification and storage areas for off-track teachers.
  • Submit budget requests to district business office.
  • Decide if year-round education will be implemented on a voluntary or mandatory basis for students and employees.
  • Develop and approve a track preference and assignment policy for students, keeping in mind the need for same schedules for family members. Balance tracks by ethnicity, academic ability, socioeconomic level, and educational need.
  • Develop and approve a track assignment policy for teachers and staff.
  • Determine staff in-service schedule.
  • Institute a year-round education informational network for certificated and classified staff members and parents.
  • Send choices of tracks to parents by early spring.
  • Notify parents as soon as possible of track assignment.
  • Develop a policy and system for track-change appeals.
  • Develop a system for delivering services during the summer (e.g., classroom supplies and textbooks).
  • Modify/expand food services according to need.
  • Modify payroll periods.
  • Develop a system for plant maintenance and utilization of empty rooms.
  • Ensure that air conditioning and insulation are able to provide summer comfort.
  • Bargain with all appropriate classified and certificated units.
  • Develop a work schedule for office, custodial, and administrative staff members.
  • Develop a system to deliver electives and special services, such as special day classes, psychological services, resource specialists, and bilingual education.
  • Ensure appropriate cash reserves to meet summer payroll and supply expenses.
  • Modify transportation system as required, including routes, number of buses, and service schedules.
  • Establish a system for teacher room rotation or roving.
  • Develop a community-school communication system for notifying off-track families of important school dates and activities.
  • Provide activities for connecting off-track employees and parents.
  • Reschedule special events such as holiday programs.
  • Design attendance accounting system as required.
  • Modify report card schedule.
  • Coordinate with community services, such as the recreation department, youth organizations, church groups, and the police department.
  • Identify and coordinate with child care providers.
  • Identify intersession instructional programs and schedules.
  • Modify student testing program (California Department of Education 2015).

Track assignment considerations

General axioms

Establish the following priorities in deciding who gets first track preference, of a track:

  • Respect district employees and keep parents on the same track as their children.
  • Respect the terms of divorce settlements by respecting parents visitation schedules.
  • Consider unique family circumstances (e.g., predictable annual visits of families located in different parts of the country or the world).
  • Acknowledge unique educational opportunities (e.g., a cello prodigy who is offered a summer camp).
  • Use a fair, balanced track assignment policy once priorities have been honored. Each track should mirror the ethnic and socioeconomic composition of the entire school population.
  • Minimize ability and/or special education need track segregation. If a special population must be put on one track, isolation and segregation can be minimized by partial day integration of self-selection of track.
  • Develop an appeals process, including:
  • A site administrator.
  • An appeal committee (made up of an administrator, a teacher, and a board member).

Do not:

  • Load tracks by ability level.
  • Load tracks by special groups (e.g., band or football).
  • Move students from track to track each year (unless requested).
  • Wait too long to announce track assignments.

Operational strategies for special services

Special day classes

  • Typically confined to one track (or two if the population warrants).
  • Extended school year days are typically offered during intersessions (California Department of Education 2015)

Evaluation of a year-round schooling system

In order to validate their efforts, the implementation team will need to evaluate the effectiveness of its year-round schooling system. The process of evaluation can be completed in-house, or the district can hire outside consultants to perform the task. Hiring outside consultants is preferable, as it provides an impartial evaluation of the year-round schools. However, this can be costly, so many school districts may have no choice but to do it themselves. If the implementation team is willing to evaluate the success of the year-round school system, they must first develop a plan for evaluation.

The team’s evaluation plan should have been developed before the year-round schooling system was implemented. Performance goals that were created at the beginning of the implementation process should be used to guide the evaluation process. The team will need to decide who will collect, analyze, and interpret the data. In order to avoid biased results, it may be in the best interests of the school to hire an outside consultant who may provide a more objective assessment. The team will also use the results to determine whether the year-round schooling system was effective. The results may indicate that the plan was not a success. In this case, the best solution is to build upon the small successes and learn from the mistakes.

Implementation of a year-round school system is a long-term process. Reform occurs on a continuous cycle that must be sustained in order for improvements to be maintained and furthered. Keep in mind that not every reform effort bears fruit. Even the best schools have to continue to work in order to perfect their year-round schooling system.


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Jumpstarting Learning for Children Living in Poverty

Contrary to popular belief, DNA is not a child’s destiny. IQ is not fixed. Cognitive skills can change. This is critically important in K-12 schools because of the poverty gap — the difference between a child’s chronological age and developmental age.

In a healthy environment, a child’s developmental age will match his or her chronological age. In a high-risk environment, research shows that while a child’s chronological age is 5 years old, his or her developmental age is closer to 3 years old. This has a huge impact on school readiness and performance.

Today, 51 percent of all students in U.S. public schools are poor. Our public education system is designed to help students achieve a year of academic growth in a school year. For economically disadvantaged children, that’s a problem.

This problem, of course, is not new. In 1995, Betty Hart and Todd R. Risley published their groundbreaking research study that uncovered the widely cited 30-million word gap between children from low-income homes and their more economically advantaged peers. Not only does that gap still exist today, it’s becoming more prevalent as the poverty rate climbs.

Read the rest on this article on The Huffington Post.