Instructional aspects

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Literature Review of Instructional Aspects of Year Round Education

According to Ballinger (1988) the traditional agrarian school calendar has become outdated as the country shifted from an economy driven by agriculture to industrial based economy. Ballinger noted that the format of educational structure was not to enhance education but to allow for students to maintain the economic structure of the family through working the farm during late spring and early fall. He noted that the practice of telling students that formal education is over in late May or June and that formal education will not start until September sends a negative message to students.

Schools need to restructure the organizational management of school schedules to allow for student learning that corresponds to the sequential nature of the formal curriculum that drives student instruction (Ballinger, 1995; Stevenson, 2007). Ballinger (1995) questioned the educational validity of the schedule that if holidays and weekends were ignored would allow for students to be in an educational facility every other day. Stevenson (2007) reported that educational reforms to scheduling based on the legislative pressure to increase student achievement especially among at-risk students will push administrators and legislature alike towards longer school schedules. Stevenson suggested that longer school schedules could include but is not limited to longer school days and longer school years, which could include adding school days to the traditional 180 day school year or reforming the current 180 day calendar to a more balanced schedule.

Current reforms such as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) have focused the country on education and this legislation has forced schools to focus on the academic achievement of all students (Lewis, 2002). Lewis suggested that reform measures from the NCLB have been under funded and that certain pieces of the legislation focusing on all students being taught in good schools by highly qualified teachers are worthy components of the legislation that all educators support. Greene (2003) encouraged that schools improve on the reform movement of education of all students especially the typically underserved at-risk and minority student through whole school reform movements such as year round schooling.

Greene (2003) further went on to state that lack of retention that appears to effect at-risk urban students at higher levels than their non-urban peers could be remedied through more time on task associated with removing long summer breaks through year round schooling. He noted that at-risk students that are the neediest students with the fewest resources for extra learning opportunities could be remedied through the consistent instruction of a balanced year round schedule. Greene expressed that current schedules require large amounts of review and remediation during the instructional year to make up for learning loss during extended breaks. He noted that a year round education would alleviate the need for long periods of review which would allow students to retain more and progress at a faster rate.

With the current school reform movements that have been brought about and encouraged by No Child Left Behind, the need for implementation of courageous reform movements such as year round education could be experimented with through charter schools (Greene, 2003; Lewis, 2002; Stevenson, 2007). Increases in the numbers of public schools and school districts using year round education continue as the National Association of Year-Round Education (2009) reported an increase of over 400 percent in the number of schools using a year-round calendar in the 25-year period ending in 2007. Opheim and Mohager (1995) noted that the debates over year-round education versus the traditional calendar schedule revolved around five categories: professional development and employee staffing; administrative issues; student achievement; parent and community concerns; and financial concerns for the school community. The purpose of this paper is to review the current literature that discusses the effect of year round education on student achievement.


Summer Learning Loss

Remediation during Intersession

Academic Achievement




  • Ballinger, C. (1988). Rethinking the School Calendar. Educational Leadership, 45(5), 57. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.
  • Ballinger, C. (1995). Prisoners no more. Educational Leadership, 53(3), 28. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database
  • Greene, J., & Manhattan Inst., N. (2003). This Works: Improving Urban Education. Civic Bulletin. Retrieved from ERIC database.
  • National Association of Year-Round Education (NAYRE). (2009).
  • Opheim, C., & Mohajer, K. (1995). Evaluating year-round schools in Texas. Education, 116(1), 1-115.
  • Stevenson, K., & National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities, W. (2006). Educational Trends Shaping School Planning and Design: 2007. National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities, Retrieved from ERIC database.