HOME ARCHIVE 2017

Summer break comes to an end in the middle of summer

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

It’s hard to believe, but schools are about to start up all around the county. That endless summer has once again come to an end.

But in August? It is still summer. The weather is nice, the beaches are hot, and the resorts are still booked.

Looking back at my high school and college days, I walked away on the last day of class, thinking that summer would last forever. September was so very far away.

I didn’t have a care in the world except to pack up and drive to my job at a summer camp. It was one big social event that went on for a couple of months.

And then it all came to an end, unfortunately, because I had to get back to real life and sign up for fall classes. Back in those days, we actually had to be on campus to sign up. We couldn’t do it online, because there was no online.

So, why are kids going back to school in the middle of August?

According to a CNN report, not all kids are returning to school in mid-August. Some already have returned. Students in Chandler, AZ. started classes on July 20. Can you imagine sitting around watching the 4th of July fireworks and thinking that in a couple of weeks summer vacation would be over?

Public schools in Atlanta, GA. started back on Aug. 5. Perry Township, IN. and Hawaii started July 29.

There are some areas that are bucking this trend. Seattle and New York City start on Sept. 9, and several more on Sept. 8. In those places, students can enjoy the Labor Day festivities knowing that they still have a few days of summer left.

But, they are probably getting fewer days off during the school year. And, chances are that all those places with September starting dates will still have classes in June. What may be even worse than going back to school in August is to have to be in school in June.

When the public education system started in the 1800s, calendars varied depending on the needs of the community, according to CNN. In cities, schools were open up to 240 days a year.

Rural schools, on the other hand, were open for only about five months over two sessions, in the winter and summer. During fall and spring, school was out so children could help harvest the crops and help with planting, according to the news network.

Once public education became standardized and summer was set aside for vacations, teachers found out quickly that when kids are not in school, they tend not to learn. So, summer vacations were shortened, and more breaks were added during semesters.

The teachers were right. The last thing on my mind when I pulled into my job seven summers in a row was learning. One summer I even took a calculus book, thinking that I would study ahead a little for the fall semester.

You guessed it. I never cracked it open.

As all those kids in their brand new clothes excitedly make their way back to school, go home and enjoy the quiet. The kids are gone for a while. It’s adult vacation time now.