Five Reasons School Starting in August is Wrong

Stop messing up summer, school districts.

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / viperagp

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / viperagp

School starts in August in many school districts across the country, and that’s just plain wrong.

First of all, it’s usually not on a Monday.

If administrators are going to start school in what is ostensibly only the third-quarter of summer, then the least they can do is do it on a Monday.  That way working moms will save on a whole week of child care.  Stay-at-home moms can get a full week’s jump start on the projects or coffee klatches that have been buried under the sand since June.  It’s a teaser.  Sure, we’ll take your kids and keep ‘em safe and educate them and all… but we’re only going to do it for three days.  We know how much you miss them after having been with them every single day all summer.

Second, school clothes shopping gets confusing.

Nope, no leisurely shopping for school clothes on a Tuesday when we could whiz in and out of stores and maybe even squeeze in a food court lunch.  No siree.  Since the change of season will happen eventually, everyone will need new clothes.  But not when it’s 90 degrees and humid. No one wants to try on leggings and hoodies when all they’ll have to do for the first day of school is smooth out a T shirt and make sure the rubber isn’t too worn down on the flip flops.

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Third, school supplies become a summer obsession.

In contrast to Fall clothing, school supplies can be purchased in the summer. Plus, right after Easter, stores start stocking the shelves and the Type A moms can smell the scented erasers from a mile away.  They’re scouring the stores for spiral notebooks, and counting out pocket-folders to last through the year.  They’re sifting through the Crayolas to make sure their kids don’t end up with two Periwinkles. If school started just a little later, maybe some of us laid-back moms (i.e. procrastinators, as I’d hate to say slackers) would have a chance of picking up something besides a cute kitten folder and white #2 pencils.

Fourth, end of summer vacations are out-of-the-question.

My kids start school and hotel prices plummet.  It’s now low-season almost everywhere you’d want to go on a family trip.  Every amusement, adventure, beach and sightseeing getaway offers deals in August.  And we can’t go.  We can go, however, over Winter or Spring Break, or in June or July, when luckily prices are higher and we can more generously contribute to the economy.  Just doin’ my job.

Last but not least, Labor Day is null and void.

Remember when Labor Day marked the end of summer and not just another sale at Mattresses-R-Us?  The pools closed, the ice cream truck made its last round and school started the next day.  We loaded up the backpacks while our moms packed away the summer whites.  Now, Labor Day is a three day weekend complete with homework.  End of summer as an event is gone – the last hurrah – the final friendly barbecue with friends and family all just fade away like a summer romance… even when it’s still light out at 8pm.

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  • Leanne Strong

    I’m with you. I grew up in Upstate New York, and most schools in Upstate New York (at least in my area), still start in September and end in June. I even contacted the New York State Department of Education about starting the school year in October (just as the weather is starting to turn) and get out in July (in the midst of the summer heat).

  • MM

    Not to mention that here in SoCal this is when we enter our highest insufferable heat through October. I just hate what is going on with our schools.

  • Leanne Strong

    I think schools should start after the fall equinox (late September/early October), and get out after the summer solstice (late June/early July). A big reason I would want this is because starting school around or after the fall equinox might make it easier for students, teachers, and parents alike, to get back into the swing of things than starting in August or early September, since most kids are ready to be done with summer vacation by then. You know how during the first few days or weeks of school, a lot of the students seem to have a lot of energy left over from summer vacation? Well, starting after the fall equinox might reduce that high amount of energy (but it most likely won’t eliminate it). When they start feeling antsy near the end of the school year, well, it’s about time they started feeling that way.