Start the school year after Labor Day
Regarding the debate over starting the school year after Labor Day, for the good of the students just do it (“Maryland school board would streamline waivers from Labor Day order,” Sept. 27).
I began substitute teaching in1996 and had my first full-time position in 1998. I have taught social studies and was a librarian in both public and private schools.
Aside from tourism, the real reason for starting school after Labor Day is to not waste students’ and teachers’ time. Many school systems like to squeeze in a couple days here and there in order to meet the mandatory 180 school days.
For example, students in Baltimore County returned to school this year on Aug. 27, a Wednesday. That brought students back in mid-week for three days just before Labor Day weekend. A teacher can’t make a serious start on a year’s worth of school work in just three days, especially with students leaving early for Labor Day or being totally distracted by it. And some students will never arrive at their desks until after Labor Day weekend no matter when school is started.
In my experience no useful teaching or learning ever happened during the couple days that students were brought in prior to Labor Day.
So let’s take the tourism argument and the childish political contests off the table and do something that for once makes sense for teachers and students.
Just start school after Labor Day when everyone can focus and really roll into the new school year. The only other real option is to open schools two weeks prior to Labor Day and get the ball rolling well before the holiday break.