Why Start School So Early in August?

Weather will always play a factor

 Students and teachers love a warm and beach-filled summer. Girls gather by a pool and tan while the boys head out in the hot summer sun and play the sport they love. The one thing many students and teachers have in common is throwing school out of their heads and relaxing the day away on vacation. So, why not continue to enjoy the hot month of August and start school in the muggy September weather?

Students want to get done earlier, but getting out earlier means go back earlier.

“I wish it started in September and that we would get out in June because there is nicer weather at the end of August than the beginning of June that we can enjoy,” said freshman Matthew Capek.

Either way students would still enjoy three months of summer, but some have a preference of what weather to enjoy. The spring/summer weather is nice to relax and sleep in. The summer/autumn weather allow students to be outside and enjoy the natural environment that we live in.

To teachers, the first semester is not long enough. There is so much to cover in a four month period that starting in September would just make the work load more stressful for students.

“I believe we start in August to help balance the two semesters. As is, first semester is a little shorter than second semester. For classes that only last for a semester, it is difficult to cover the same content first semester as you do second semester,” said math department chair Jill Farrell.

Decisions to start early ultimately came from moving final exams to before winter break.

“[Former administration] made the transition to move the end of first semester from January to December so that students would take their final exam before the winter break, and in order to do that and get the days you need to get in a cleaner break you had to move the start of the school year earlier. [That change] resulted in starting earlier in August and getting out at the end of May, not including snow days,” said principal Bradford Hubbard.

Starting school earlier also has other benefits for the students at ACHS.

“I think there are some studies out there that show it’s beneficial for students to test them before they go on break and then they get their final exams done and over with,” said Hubbard. “A big factor for us is the ACT date is set by the State of Illinois. It used to be late April, but this year it’s going to be in early May.”

Ultimately, the transition to an earlier start date, thus cutting August short for students in staff, was made in an effort to assist ACHS students academically and make winter break a little less stressful. And who can argue with a little rest and relaxation over the cold winter break rather than studying for final exams.

Students walking into school on the first day
Students walking into school on the first day of classes.