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Year-Round Schools in L.A.

January 22, 1986

Four and a half years ago I grudgingly enrolled my daughter at a year-round school expecting the worst. Before the end of the year I knew that I had been very wrong about the year-round program.

What changed my viewpoint so radically? First, and foremost, the teacher's positive attitude of the program calmed my initial fear. She explained how learning is an ongoing process in year-round schools.

Homework is given during the four three-week breaks to retain memory of what was studied, unlike traditional schools that spend almost the entire month of September reviewing. Boredom during short breaks is minimal and may lessen juvenile delinquency. Brothers and sisters are generally kept on the same track to prevent a conflict in schedules.

We now have the opportunity to vacation any season we wish. Crowds are gone; prices are usually lower and the weather is sometimes better during non-summer months.

Critics are quick to point out the lack of air conditioners in most schools. Granted, 90-degree classrooms are uncomfortable but not unbearable. During the height of our summer heat wave I asked my daughter if she would rather be at school or at home and she chose school. My daughter's grades during the heat wave were no different than during more pleasant weather. I might add that only on a few days during the entire summer is the classroom temperature 90 degrees.

Activities at year-round schools are no different than at traditional schools. We have chorus, elections, special celebrations and fund-raising events.

With three children now enrolled in year-round school, I am more than ever convinced that it is one of the best changes in our school system.


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