Modifying a traditional school calendar essentially means that students attend school throughout the entire year with several mini-breaks rather than an extended summer break. There are both pros and cons involved in modifying the traditional school calendar. This essay will address the pros and provide rationale for selecting one calendar over another.
Traditional School Calendar
Growing up with a traditional school calendar, going to school from August until June and having the glorious three-month summer was something to look forward to as a child. According to Hsu’s article in the San Bernardino Sun, “Parents said a shorter summer would limit teens' chances to work and do internships, and that families would have to cancel planned vacations” (2007). Community involvement is essential for a child to nurture ownership of the community and feel a sense of belonging.
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The extended summer calendar worked in the past, traditionally, and it would seemingly work now, except that things have changed over the years and a modified school calendar meets some needs of a changing world. Things that were not evident in the past have become apparent and a modified school calendar creates opportunity to address some of those needs whereas a traditional calendar does not.
Modified School Calendar
Many parents struggle with an age-old problem of coordinating breaks and vacations with their children. Many times children have longer breaks from school than the parents do from work. Shorter breaks are more reasonable and true to life in the business world, preparing children for a coming future. Harold Vollkommer, an assistant superintendent said, “Longer spring and winter recesses would provide time for students who were behind in school to take short, intensive remedial courses” (2007). This type of opportunity also helps by preparing students for greater responsibilities. Additionally, children learn how to manage their time. Working in internships and volunteering for the community becomes a year-round thing rather than just a summer thing.
Having experienced both calendars, I am in favor of the modified calendar. Traditions are nice and should never be forgotten; but, as time changes and new advancements are discovered and made, so must we be willing to modify a traditional way of doing things to accommodate our growth and potential.
Hsu, C. (2007). Board rejects proposed school calendar changes. Retrieved January 24, 2007 from,
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