Is Balanced Better?

A friendly reader sends in this comparison of school calendars, pointing out that it's the same number of days for both traditional and year-round, but that doesn't mean it's the same experience for kids and teachers (see below). Also, does anyone have the link where it says year-round schools have higher ISAT scores, which is the justification for pressuring schools to change calendars?


as to the reality of year round--it is the same amount of days as the

traditional calendar. The problem is what happens in hot August when

schools do not have adequate air conditioning. AND, do schools on

'year-round' really have higher ISAT scores compared to those who have


Calendar Comparisons


charts below compare the distribution of days in school and days on

break on the nine-month traditional calendar vs. the distribution of

school days on a balanced or modified calendar. Weekends are excluded

form the charts, with both models detailing a typical year of 258 work

days (Monday through Friday). Both charts represent a standard school

year of 180 days.


traditional calendar features a long summer vacation of 12 weeks

followed by a long period of in-session days, with the first break

coming at Thanksgiving. The winter holidays are followed by 55

in-session days before a short spring break. Spring break is followed

by 40 work days before the end of the school year.


balanced calendar reduces the long summer break and simply apportions

those days throughout the school year, producing more frequent breaks

and thus limiting long periods of in-session days, as well as longer

vacations. Both calendars feature 180 days of instruction, with the

modified calendar balancing the frequency of in-session days with days

on break. The winter holiday and Thanksgiving break can be the same on

both calendars.

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