I hope everyone out there with kids in the HCPSS is enjoying a good start to the school year. This is the first year since 1997 I don't have that going on and, of course, unless something really unexpected happens, I won't again! Which feels kinda funky. But I digress.
Comptroller Peter Franchot has been making a point for the last few years of wanting to start school after Labor Day, so kids and their families can enjoy their summer. Now, when I was in the HCPSS, I am pretty sure that every school year of mine started after Labor Day. And for me, to this day, the start of September kind of has a "New Year" feel to it.
So I say, why not? Start school after Labor Day. I don't quite know why it starts when it does now, except maybe due to the addition of extra half days and full days off in the calendar. So does that mean, keep school open until late June? Maybe it does. And if it does, I'm OK with that.
And while we're starting school later in the year, how about if we start it later in the day as well? Locally and statewide there are efforts to start school later in the day. Again, drawing upon my HCPSS experience, elementary school started at 9:15, middle school at 8:30, and high school at 8. In the school cluster my kids attended (wow), these times are 30-60 minutes earlier.
I actually think this would be a more difficult thing to do than to start the school calendar after Labor Day. Because for so many families, their daily routine, including their work arrangements, are geared around getting the kids ready for school, out the door for school, and/or driven to school. And evenings would become a little more compressed, especially if kids' programs-- youth sports practices and such-- were to be moved later in the day.
But on this issue, I think that kids getting enough rest, waking up at an appropriate time, and maintaining a better energy level trumps all. Oh, and starting high school at 8-- you won't have the insanity of 25% of high school kids in HoCo eating lunch at 10:15am, which is what we have now.
And I know we're not talking about that in this post, but-- hey, HCPSS. Four period days. Eight credits a school year. Do it.
And let's be careful out there.