Parents, we are on the eve of another long summer vacation. I don't know about you, but I dread it. I await the chorus of "we're bored... again," and watching them quickly forget everything they struggled to learn the previous school year.

Do kids really need summer vacation?

I know every school kid just screamed out in unison "yes!" But really, what purpose does summer vacation serve anymore?

When it was put into practice around the turn of the 20th century, it was done because A) unventilated schools were unbearable during the summer, B) urban leaders were worried that the hot and cramped conditions would facilitate the spread of disease, and C) rural kids were needed to work on the family farm.

I don't really see any of those as a concern anymore. And most year round education cycles last 180 days, exactly the same as current school years. The vacations are just arranged differently. Instead of three months off in the summer, kids only get one month, but they get more time around Christmas and spring break.

Year-Round School Calendar
In School 45 Days
Fall Break 15 Days
In School 30 Days
Thanksgiving Break 3 Days
In School 15 Days
Winter Break 15 Days
In School 45 Days
Spring Break 15 Days
In School 45 Days
Summer Break 30 Days

The statistics regarding grades for traditional vs. year-round school seem somewhat inconclusive. Some statistics show a 2 to 3% gain in test scores for year-round school, but it seems incidental at best.

I believe the school schedule is broken. I'm not sure year-round school is the answer, but anything is better than giving our kids three months off every summer. Let's find a way to continue our children's educations.