Back to school, back in business
For most public school students in Calvert, it was a gloriously long summer — 81 days’ worth to be exact.
Thanks to a much-debated executive order last year by Gov. Larry Hogan (R), classes for this school year didn’t start until yesterday, the day after Labor Day.
So for those of you marking off the calendar, it’s two days down, and just 173 to go until the end of school June 8. Classes for the county’s public school students began yesterday. The county’s private schools opened their doors last week, when public schools normally would have joined them. But according to the results of our online poll, a majority of Calvert residents seem to have enjoyed the longer break.
Students at Northern High School can see their new school campus under construction this year, with a completion
date of 2019. That means those who are freshmen now will almost definitely get to step foot in a new building before their high school careers are up.
But of course, it’s what goes on inside that matters even more than building cosmetics.
Many students are in school for the first time, in kindergarten and prekindergarten. And by now all of them, from the youngest to the oldest, have discovered if they share a classroom with friends.
All of them, from age 4 to 18, are learning about the expectations of their teachers this year. Those teachers are setting a tone they hope will last through the school year. They are getting to know their students — and also getting to know what their students know. Depending on the age of those students, that may mean finding out if they know how to tie their shoes or if they are ready to dive into honors chemistry.
So it’s a time for fresh starts, and for teachers and staff to rediscover, as they do each year, why they remain in this profession, this vocation, this calling they have chosen. All of these talented and caring people are engaged in enormously important work that shapes the lives of young people. That can’t be stressed enough.
Indeed, lives will change over the next 173 school days between now and next spring. Eyes will be opened, social skills developed, content learned, steps to independence and maturity they will need in their adult lives will be mastered. In short, students will be getting an education.
What happens in these schools, and in the private schools that educate hundreds of more students, will also plant seeds for much of what will happen in Calvert County after they graduate and begin to contribute to and influence the life of this community.
Calvert schools include a somewhat eclectic mix of students. There are the relative newcomers whose parents are here because of work associated with Patuxent River Naval Air Station to the south, Joint Base Andrews and Washington, D.C., to the north or other professional opportunities. Others with deeper roots in Calvert are boarding buses whose drivers once ferried their mothers or fathers to the same school.
All of them are now gathered in the schools, and their influence starts now. They will be contributing, most of them positively, to the work and growth that will take place in classrooms in the months ahead.
So students, let’s open those books. There may very well be homework tonight — and that’s a good thing.