By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – In some places in the country, Raleigh, North Carolina for instance, year-round school started in mid-July.

For schools with problems like low test scores and overcrowding, year-round schooling seems like a panacea. In districts with high needs and large numbers of disabilities, researcher Esther Fusco at Hofstra University found that programs without the long summer downtime are beneficial.

On both schedules there are the same number of days – about 180 – but vacations are distributed differently. Some have 3 weeks off instead of the summer 10-12 weeks or six school weeks with 2 week vacation breaks, often favored by working parents.

Schools in summer cost more because of transportation and air conditioning. Despite a survey showing parents preferred the year-round plan, Salt Lake City returned to a traditional calendar because of lower costs.

Four day weeks, a longer school day and year-round school are all ideas for making schooling less costly and more effective.

Read more in The Christian Science Monitor.

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