Date of Award
Campus Access Dissertation
Educational Leadership and Policies
Dr. Kenneth Stevenson
This dissertation reports a study of a year-round school in comparison to a traditional calendar school and whether the year-round school calendar was related to higher student achievement in a large, school district in the southeastern United States. The data represented the results of third through fifth grade student state test scores in the area of English language arts and math on the PASS (Palmetto Assessment of State Standards, known earlier as PACT), and perceptual survey data from fifth grade students, parents, and teachers at both the year-round school and a comparative traditional school. Longitudinal data were also reviewed to determine any differences in student achievement of a cohort of students from 2005 to 2007 at the year-round and traditional calendar school. Qualitative data from two focus group interviews involving teachers and administrators who worked at the year-round school were gathered.
The study found minimal differences between the two schools in terms of student achievement data in English language arts. However, in 2007 there was a significant difference in math achievement between the two schools in favor of the year-round school. When student longitudinal cohort data were analyzed, findings showed no significant differences in English language arts or mathematics. In fact, students attending the traditional calendar school maintained higher mathematics scores in comparison to the year-round school. Student and teacher attendance were not significantly different. However, each school maintained attendance consistently in the high 94% to 97%, according to AYP requirements, which were 95% or higher. Perceptual data consistently reflected greater satisfaction of students, teachers, and parents with the traditional calendar school in most areas. It is important to note that only fifth grade students, teachers, and parents participated in the perceptual survey and that the size of the schools could be a factor associated with results.
The focus group interviews gleaned significant information from past and present employees of the year-round school that should be taken into consideration when researching the benefits of year-round schools in comparison to traditional calendar schools. For example, each group benefited from the breaks and felt they had time to refresh themselves. The year-round school also kept the students off of the streets and in school participating in constructive activities.
Mitchell-Hoefer, M. D.(2010). The Effects of A Year-Round School Calendar In A High-Risk Elementary School: A Comparative Study. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from http://scholarcommons.sc.edu/etd/379