Let’s Start School During the Hottest Days of August!

school, education Mamacita says: School has started now for most public school students. If someone could give me a sound, logical reason for starting school during the Dog Days of August, I’d love to hear it. A reason that had nothing whatsoever to do with money, that is.  People used to vacation in August, but now, if they have kids, that’s out of the question unless they’re THOSE parents who pull their kids out of school for trips to Disney World and Cancun and demand lists of “everything you’ll be doing while we’re on the beach.”  But I digress.

School used to start the first Monday after Labor Day, and it was much more sensible.  It was still terribly hot, but the cooler weather was just around the corner instead of a month or more away.

I’ve taught in buildings that had no air conditioning.  Those August days turned classrooms into saunas.  The windows were nailed shut so there was no chance of a cross breeze, and after the second day of school I stopped at K-Mart and bought a box fan.  Positioned kind of cater-cornered, most of the students could sort of feel the air move a little bit.  I’d have bought another fan to aim at me but did I mention that I was a teacher?  I couldn’t justify the expense, and if I had been able to buy another fan I couldn’t have aimed it at myself, anyway.  I would have aimed it at the students. My sweating, panting students who tried their best but just couldn’t concentrate on pronouns when their flesh was melting and slipping off like tomato skin.

Even with air conditioning, crowded classrooms are still too hot and muggy in August.  How many administrators would put up with the working conditions they submit their teachers and students to?  I’ve never been in an administrator’s office that wasn’t cool and uncluttered.

Start of the school year?  I vote for the Monday after Labor Day.  How about you?

And I meant it when I said that if you had a really good, legitimate, logical reason for WANTING to start school on July 28 or August 4, I’d love to hear it.  Convince me.

Then again, my college doesn’t begin until August 25, about which I can only say WELL PLANNED, higher ed.  Now, let’s get lower ed back on track.

P.S.  Dog Days.  Harry Potter.  Whatever could the connection BEEEEE?


Let’s Start School During the Hottest Days of August! — 2 Comments

  1. The large urban school district here starts this early so that we can have a week’s vacation at Thanksgiving and still be finished with the semester by Christmas break.

    If we wait until after Christmas for finals, many students don’t return in time as they are still in Mexico. The district is over 50 percent Hispanic with many heading south for the holidays. It played havoc to end the semester after Christmas as many had to take incompletes due to not taking the final. Starting this early works much better. The students here are ready to get back to class.

  2. Thank you, Jane! I can now comment. We chatted about this on FB already, but I am curious about which states tend to start in August and which ones closer to Sept. (or around Labor Day, like in WA) A friend who is in AZ says that kids are happy to come back to school early in August because the schools are air conditioned. Nothing for them to do outside when it’s 110 degrees.

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