Year-Round Schools… What’s That All About Anyway?

If you’re thinking of enrolling your kids at Wake County Public Schools, you’ve likely started looking into available programs and educational opportunities. Maybe you’ve even noticed that some of the district’s schools operate on a “year-round” calendar and wondered what that’s all about. Well, let us explain!

Here’s everything you need to know about year-round schools.

Year-Round Schools… How Does it Work?

students at a year-round school in the triangle

Like with traditional school calendars, students attend school for 180 days a year. The difference lies in how the calendar is divided. Instead of having all 180 days lumped together, year-round school calendars are divided into four 9-week quarters with a 3-week break between each quarter.

More Details on the Year-Round Calendar

Each school’s students are divided into one of four tracks. Each group of students is either “tracked in” (i.e. attending school) for 45 days, or “tracked out” for 15 days. Multitrack schools will have three tracks “tracked in” and one “tracked out” at a time. This allows schools to serve more students without sacrificing small class sizes.

Ok… So What are the Pros and Cons of Year-Round Schooling?

Like anything, year-round schooling has its ups and downs. Here’s a look at both the perks and the problems.

Pro: Frequent Breaks Reduce Stress

students taking a break from school

Instead of 180 days of constant work, students (and teachers) enjoy a stress-relieving break from hard work and deadlines.

Pro: Smaller Breaks Reduce “Summer Slide”

high school students at a year-round school

Students on traditional calendars work hard 180 days… then let it all go for 12 weeks of summer. It’s amazing how much can be forgotten over the course of that time. A shorter break allows less time for forgetting!

Pro: Smaller Breaks Reduce Bad Habits

Sleeping in, neglecting studies or work, staying up too late… summer breeds some bad habits that can be pretty hard to break if left unchecked too long! Again, shorter breaks mean less time to get used to being out of school.

Con: Extracurriculars Can Get Complicated

students playing soccer at a year-round school

Just because school’s out for a few weeks, doesn’t mean sports and activities stop. Competitive activities, like sports, or those that require a lot of regular practice, like band, usually don’t benefit from taking a break every couple of weeks.

Con: You Might Need a Summer Camp Alternative

kids at summer camp

For many working parents, the long summer stretch provides a childcare challenge, and oftentimes, that’s when summer camp steps in. But year-round schools have frequent three-week breaks throughout the year, which means you’ll have to find activities for kids throughout the year, and for most of the year, camps won’t be an option.

The Bottom Line with Year-Round Schools

There are pros and cons to year-round schooling, and the bottom line is that it will work for some students and families, but not for others. Before choosing a year-round school, it’s important to consider your lifestyle and schedule, as well as the needs and learning style of your children.

Relocating to the Triangle?

Are you reading up on Wake County Public Schools because you’re thinking of relocating to the Triangle? Then it’s time to contact Carla Freund Realty. We’re here to help you explore the area, discover its beautiful communities, and find the perfect home for your unique needs.

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