Rearranging the American School Year

When questioned as to why American students rank low in comparison to other countries, it is often believed that a lack of education is at fault. The countries whose students rank above America’s spend more time on education with longer school days or years. The American school year should be longer, with shorter days, and more vacations, because students could then acquire the sufficient amount of rest necessary for success.

Currently the average American school year is composed of one hundred eighty, six and a half-hour days. Thus, it adds up to approximately one thousand one hundred seventy hours of American education per year. It’s a battling race to arrive at school each morning by seven thirty. Waking up at dawn is the fiercest battle of all. Perhaps the school day should begin each morning at nine-thirty. That would result in two hours more sleep for both the students and teachers. Since the human brain is sharpest when rested, the scholastic information introduced daily might then sink in more easily.

After waking up at the crack of dawn, few appreciate the six and a half-hour school day ahead. Perhaps if the school day was five and a half-hours long (9:30a to 3:00p), students could set aside more time for personal relaxation. If the average school day were five and a half hours long it would take nearly two hundred and thirteen days to complete the current one-thousand-one-hundred-seventy hours of education. However, that allows forty-eight vacation days in addition to the weekends. With forty-eight days to spare, there could be a one-week vacation every other month, and a month long summer’s break. A longer school year, complete with frequent but short breaks, provides the students and teachers with more rest.

In the modern American system, students have vacation once every three months, and then a two-month long summer. Unfortunately the two summer months work like mind erasers. Also the long summer vacations can get lengthy and boring after a while. If vacations were spread out more evenly, students would have something to look forward to. A few weeks of work and a few weeks of rest, provides for a healthier and happier student. Following the traditional long summer break, it takes a complete term to rewind the students’ minds to the education mode. “With year-round schools, you have more continuous learning and less learning loss during the summer months.” So, if summer vacation were to last only half the time, the students’ erasing minds could be refreshed without so much review.

Studies have shown that students’ time spent with teachers is beneficial and crucial to the education process. If the school year were to lengthen, students would have more time to be taught by the teachers. Also, if breaks were shortened and spread out more evenly, less review time would be required. The time saved from less reviewing could be used to further studies, and better educate the students of America. With an extra six weeks of learning (instead of review), standardized test scores could increase by one third.

With an extra two hours of sleep per night, and six vacations over the course of the school year, American students would be adequately rested to conquer their daily-faced-challenges. And with less time to forget prior learnings, along with excess time to deepen studies, improvement would shine from all directions. Reaching new heights from day to day, a healthier, less stressed, and increasingly intelligent America would dominate.


Published by Author Stacy A. Padula

Stacy Padula has spent the last 14 years working daily with teenagers as a college counselor, mentor, and life coach. She was named "Top Inspirational Author of the Year" for 2022 by the International Association of Top Professionals (New York, NY). In 2021, she was broadcast on the famous Reuters Building in Times Square as "Empowered Woman of the Year." Her Gripped book series is currently being adapted for TV by Emmy-winning producer Mark Blutman. She is the founder and CEO of Briley & Baxter Publications: a publishing company that donates a portion of its proceeds to animal rescues each month. She has edited and published a variety of titles, including Boston Bruins Anthem Singer Todd Angilly and Rachel Goguen's The Adventures of Owen & the Anthem Singer, LaTonya Pinkard of Netflix's Last Chance U's Nate & His Magic Lion, and former NHL player Norm Beaudin's memoir The Original: Living Life Through Hockey. Stacy resides in Plymouth, Massachusetts with her husband Tim and two miniature dachshunds, Briley and Baxter.

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