Back in school already?

Published 4:28 pm Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Decatur County Schools started a new school year Monday, July 30.

WHAT??? That can’t be true. Schools in Decatur County Georgia always start on Fridays- and NEVER in July. So what’s up?

My Northern roots totally reject the idea of school in July. I had a hard enough time dealing with an August startup. Now they say July – and on a Monday.

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In most of the northeastern part of our United States, school doesn’t begin until after Labor Day and that means September. My birthdate being September 5, I frequently ended up celebrating in school, if there was any celebration at all.

We didn’t get out in May either. We were still hitting the books and the band marched in the Memorial Day Parade wearing woolen uniforms.

When I first moved here and heard school always starts on a Friday I couldn’t fathom the reasoning behind that. I was told it had been like that for years since the depression years –or at least when there were a large number of families living in poverty. The logic of that explanation was that Fridays were paydays and then parents would know what books, etc. were needed and buy them over the weekend so students could hit the year running on the following Monday.

That may or may not be true. It is not feasible to me. You go to school one day and start to get your mind in gear, then it’s the weekend and you are out two days, losing momentum.

So, I am happy to see that has changed.

Perhaps the reason northern schools don’t start until September is because they have such long, cold winters and they like to see summer last as long as it can. I have also heard theories that the school year in the South is more coordinated with the agricultural schedules, so kids could work on the farms. But there are farms in the northern states also.

I was talking about this with my son who lives in Virginia and he thought it may be that school districts are moving toward the French model. I quickly researched that and found their classes begin September 4 and will end on a Saturday, July 7; but during that school year there are at least four two-week vacations. Go figure.