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Implementation Of A Year-Round High School Program

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The purpose of this study was to identify the feasibility of implementing a year-round high school program. Specific attention was given the following topics: (1) The process used in considering the feasibility of implementing a year-round program; (2) The steps taken in implementing such a program; (3) The effect of year-round operation on potential areas of concern. The study further identified the reasons why certain high schools dropped year-round programs. Procedure. The basic technique employed for this study was a descriptive approach utilizing a questionnaire completed by school districts implementing year-round high school programs. Questionnaire items were developed based on an intensive review of related literature and on responses made to a letter sent to specific school districts requesting information on the topic. A model questionnaire was sent to a random sample of school districts implementing year-round high school programs. Revisions based on this model questionnaire and on reaction of several key educators produced the final draft of the questionnaire. The questionnaire was distributed to the 45 school districts who were now or had implemented year-round programs at the high school level according to the 1979 Directory of the National Council on Year-Round Education. Twenty-nine responded to the questionnaire. The results were tabulated and interpreted as to their importance. Findings. The greatest area of concern expressed by respondents was in the general topic of administration and scheduling. Also of great concern was the area of personnel allocation for both administrators and teachers. Noteworthy concern was reflected for the areas of facilities and maintenance, and curriculum and instruction. The question of financial constraints was rated a surprisingly low concern considering the amount of literature devoted to this topic. Other areas of concern, such as transportation, student activities, support services, and school lunch programs seemed to be of limited concern to respondents. In regard to reasons why schools dropped the year-round high school program, the most important constraint was in the area of administration. Personnel considerations ranked second, indicating that staff support is vital to a successful program. Certain curricular constraints were also important. Conclusions. The most important predictor of whether or not a district successfully implemented a high school year-round program was the attitude of teachers, administrators, parents, students and the business community. The areas of greatest concern were administration, scheduling, personnel, facilities and maintenance, and curriculum and instruction. These areas of concern constitute a useful list for any school district to study if they are contemplating going "year-round". This list says: "These areas must be dealt with successfully if you hope to carry off the change to year-round school." Recommendations. Any school district contemplating the implementation of a year-round educational program, particularly at the high school level, should make a careful study of the administrative, personnel, facility, maintenance, curricular, financial and student constraints as they apply to the specific community and school district.

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