The definition of a school year should be the same as a calendar year, running from January 1st through December 31st rather than from July 1st through June 30th or any other such dates. A January through December school year is much more logical and would make referring to school years much simpler. People would be able to refer to a 2004 school year rather than a 2004-2005 school year.
Under this proposal, students would suffer no increased academic regression (forgetting) than under a traditional calendar because a long summer recess would merely fall within a grade rather than between grades.
However, to further mitigate the problem of student regression during extended vacations, vacations should be spread out a little more evenly throughout the school year, making summer vacations shorter. The school year calendar should be organized so that schools will be in session on all days except weekends, major holidays, the last two weeks of December, the first two weeks of January, Easter Week, the month of July and one week off in October.
In all, there should be 200 days of classroom instruction per year, an increase of 20 days over the current schedule.
Formal primary level academic education should begin no sooner than at 8:30 am daily and should go through to 4:00 pm.