More arguments for year-round schooling

Nine-year-old saluted for weighing in on year-round schooling debate.

Editor: As one who has sat in a similar chair to yours, I know it is always satisfying to a community newspaper editor to receive a letter from a young person. So many of us think that young people do not read “real, hold in your hands, paper-type” newspapers anymore.

However, regarding Sidney’s point of view (The Times, March 5) on year-round schooling, may I offer Sidney a few points to consider:

1.  Not all parents can afford to enjoy a two-month summer break. Many more of them need to work during that time of the year, as owning a home and raising a family is getting more expensive, it seems, as the years go by.

2. As for children’s health, more emphasis needs to be placed on a proper diet (ie. “No More McDonald’s”), more exercise during the day, whether indoor or outdoors, and more physical education time during the school day . . . and far less time spent at a computer or in front of a television.

3. The Canadian school day is by no means long. In fact, many people consider it too short.

And, in the long run, I think Sidney needs to look at:

1. the use of school facilities to a greater extent and maximizing the taxpayers’ funding for schools, as they are empty for two months under the current system;

2. maximizing student’s learning with shorter periods of schooling and more breaks; and, particularly,

3. retention of material learned from one school year to another, as June is virtually wasted with “pleasurable activities” like field trips and then September is spent reviewing things forgotten during the past three months.

As I have mentioned, there is a 45-15 model that can have students or teachers taking a 75-day-period off, at any time of the year.

And, Sidney, I look forward one day to seeing you sitting in the editor’s chair at the Langley Times.

G.E. MacDonell,


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