An assessment of secondary school students' attitudes toward the 45-15 year-round school calendar

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Virginia Tech

Since the early 1960s, schools on the 45-15 yearround school calendar have been implemented in an increasing number of school districts throughout the United States. Literature has shown that the success of these programs is related to students' attitudes.

The main body of knowledge we have concerning students' attitudes is contained in feasibility studies having limitations. Because of the importance ascribed to students’ attitudes, these limitations must be eradicated as much as possible in order to develop a viable attitudinal assessment instrument to evaluate students' attitudes. The evaluation of students' attitudes with such an instrument is the first step toward providing insight into those variables which are associated with favorable and unfavorable attitudes toward year-round education.

The weaknesses in previously developed instruments and the importance of students' attitudes in the success or failure of year-round programs formed the basis for a two-pronged approach to this study. First, an attitudinal inventory was constructed to evaluate students‘ attitudes toward the 45-15 year-round school calendar and second, an identification was made of those personal and school calendar characteristics presumed to influence students' attitudes toward that calendar.

A research instrument, developed in accordance with Thurstone's technique, was given to selected students in operational public high schools in the United States employing the 45-15 year-round school calendar. The resulting data were analyzed using SPSS subprograms Condescriptive and Student's t. The results revealed that students' attitudes toward the 45-15 year-round school calendar were more favorable when they: (1) perceive themselves as achieving well; (2) determine their own vacation schedule; (3) have one or both parents in favor of year-round school; (4) have close friends on the same attendance calendar; and (5) can select a September to June calendar or school.

The personal and school calendar characteristics determined not to have any significant relationship to students' attitudes toward the 45-15 year-round school calendar were: (1) sex; (2) experience in year-round school; (3) employment; and (4) sibling attendance patterns.

school administration