Monthly Archives: August 2014

We Went Back-to-School in July…and It’s Awesome!

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This was my school on July 27. The carpets were cleaned. The painting was done. The classrooms were completely set up and ready. Why? Because just two days later, 600 students walked through the doors to start school.

If you are at a school that doesn’t return until September, this probably seems like your worst nightmare, and I actually had some of the same reservations. Our district had moved to a balanced calendar, featuring three two-week breaks and one eight-week summer break (180 school days). However, now I love beginning school in July. Here’s why:

1. Fall Break – Because we begin in July, we have a two week Fall Break in mid-October, about ten weeks into the school year. This is the perfect time to pause and reflect on what you’ve accomplished so far while taking a deep breath before the holiday months begin.

2. EL Students – Our school is approaching 50% English Learners, students whose first language is something other than English. When they go on summer break, they often don’t hear or speak any English. By shrinking the summer breaks from thirteen to eight weeks, we can shorten the time period students are not experiencing English.

3. Done at Memorial Day – Teachers know that when the weather warms up in spring, the days of students being able to give their full attention to their studies are numbered. By starting in July, we’re done at Memorial Day. This means the number of warm days at the end of the year are limited. Would you rather be on vacation in June, the dawn of summer, than in AugustĀ and its oppressive heat?

Whenever your school year begin, good luck!