Kentuckians, Do You Think School Starts Back Too Early in the Year?
Has anyone else's Summer just flown by ridiculously fast? Oh my gosh, I swear it feels like school ended just yesterday! This week I got notifications from Owensboro Public Schools' handy dandy new phone app with all of the dates for back-to-school open houses, meet-the-teacher nights, and official school supply lists because whether I want to face it or not, it is only two short weeks until we send these sweetie pies back to the classroom.
Did you know that back-to-school dates vary from state to state? There are some kids that don't have to return until after Labor Day while others get an even earlier start than Owensboro at the end of July.
According to a study done by the Pew Research Center, states in the South and Southwest typically have earlier start dates ranging from July 23rd-August 9th (like us!) While Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states start from August 26th-Sept 2nd. The research also found the following,
"The prize for the earliest start date among the 500-plus districts in our sample goes to Arizona’s Chandler Unified School District, which serves part of suburban Phoenix. The 44,000 or so students in Chandler Unified went back July 23 (though they get the first of three two-week “intersession” breaks starting Sept. 30). At the other extreme are the Trenton, New Jersey public schools, whose nearly 14,000 students won’t go back to school till Sept. 9 – the latest opening date in our sample."
In the past when the public school system was just beginning, the school year was often determined by the industry or agriculture of the particular region. For example, children living in rural farmland would only go to school in between harvest times whereas city kids went almost year round. I always thought a factor was that schools weren't air-conditioned, so they weren't trying to have everybody sweaty and cranky while trying to learn .
It wasn't until the late 1800s that a universal school calendar was adopted so that kids weren't having too much or too little schooling. However, there are still laws in some states, namely those with tourism and hospitality industries that won't allow students to start until after Labor Day.
Earlier start dates allow for a longer Fall Break with kids still being able to get an entire semester's worth of learning in and not be too burnt out by the end of it. I would imagine teachers appreciate that breather in the middle as well. If classes didn't begin until after Labor Day, those instructional days would have kids in the classroom until June. Some feel that those days would not be used to the fullest as we all know that by the end of the school year, most folks are over it. Also, any students or teachers taking summer classes benefit from ending the school year how it is now.
I still think August 9th feels awfully early to be kicking it back into gear! I'm not so sure we are mentally prepared for the routine to begin just yet, but I do know Rollins is ready to see all of his friends again. What about you? Do you think school starts too early? Or are you ready to send these precious little hooligans packing?