Traditional vs. year-round: What’s the difference?

Jul. 29, 2013 @ 01:45 PM

My brother and I always argue over which schedule is better, year round or traditional? I think the traditional schedule is best because that is always what I have been used to. And though my brother will insist that he likes traditional better, it is safe to say he likes year-round better.

A few columns ago, I mentioned that some of the kids at Bull City went back to school. I also stated that they were going back to a year-round schedule. This week I wanted to clarify the difference between a year-round schedule and a traditional schedule.
As I previously mentioned, Easley is a year-round school. This means that even though they will be in school earlier, they will go to school for nine weeks and have three weeks off after the nine-week period is finished. This is different from a traditional schedule that schools like Carrington and Riverside follow where they go for nine weeks, but only have one day off.
Year-round schools start in mid-July, go for nine weeks, then in the fall they will be off for three weeks. I will start school at the end of August, go for nine weeks, and then have only one day off before going back. Both my brother and I go to school the same number of weeks, but the time off is way different.
Though they are on different schedules, there are a few similarities. Both schedules get many of the same holidays off including Christmas, New Year’s, Thanksgiving, and more. Year round kids do get an extra week off for Christmas and New Year’s. Also traditional schools also get work days off while year round schools don’t get any days off in between there nine weeks except for holidays.
The difference in schedules also has a major impact on families. I live in a family where my father and I are both on a traditional schedule, but my little brother is in year-round. This is harder on my mother, who has to watch my brother when he is out of school. It means taking time off from work to make sure that my little brother is taken care of and is safe. She has to change her schedule around my brother’s school schedule.
One thing that helps make sure my brother is watched so my mother can work is the intersession period during the three-week period year-round students are off. Aldersgate Church holds camps during the three weeks that have a specific theme. One week may be sports week, the next may be animals.
If you were to ask parents what they like more about the year-round schedules, it is the three weeks off in October. You can take vacations while most of the other people in the world are working and can’t take any time off to places like Disney, Great Wolf Lodge, and more. In my family, especially, the three weeks off in between is used for visiting the beach. Even though the weather may not be ideal, it’s still fun to go down and enjoy the sights and sounds.
Ben Huffman is a rising sophomore at Riverside High School. To reach him, email huffmansheat@gmail.com.