Are assignments given to students over the summer in your school?'s Teacher Poll of the Week
Are assignments given to students over the summer in your school?
Yes, assignments are optional.
Yes, assignments are mandatory.

View Results

The majority of teachers reported that students are not given assignments over the summer break, however, it wasn't overwhelming. Those schools which assign summer work as either optional or mandatory were fairly close in number but added together still represented less than half of the teachers polled.

The assignment of work for students over the summer break makes sense from a purely academic standpoint. Two months are a long time to go without review of some core subjects and it has been proven that students forget learned skills. Periodic review over the summer helps lessen any knowledge loss and helps the students be more prepared once school restarts in the fall.

There are a couple of problems with assigning work to be done over the summer. The most obvious one being that the teacher who assigned the work will probably not be the one required to mark it. When the child enters school again in the fall they are unlikely to be in the same classroom with the same teacher as they were the year before. Unless classroom allocations are made before the end of the school year, teachers and students will be unaware of their fall placement. General grade level assignments could be handed out to be marked by the next year's teacher, but nothing specifically geared to one particular teacher.

The second point is that teachers don't receive reimbursement for work done in the summer. The requirement to grade work completed in this time period could upset some teachers as it adds to their fall workload. Fall is traditionally a time to get organized and get to know the new students and their learning style and capabilities. Review work often takes place which helps teachers assess their new students. Adding a large grading task at this time could prove difficult for teachers.

Some school districts are discussing the idea of year long schooling to address the concerns over student learning loss. Our current system was based on a time when farming families needed their children home to help in the fields. As this is no longer the case with most students, the move to year long school would make sense from an academic standpoint. The reasons to keep summer break are too numerous to discuss here but if more schools begin assigning summer work projects perhaps year long schooling isn't far behind.