Longer school days could lead to a longer summer break

By extending the school day, by even a few minutes, students could have more time to do other activities during summer break


Jenna McDonald, JAG organizations editor

Throughout my entire school career, I have always wished for a longer summer, especially as August becomes one of the hottest months of the year.  Recently, schools around us have been discussing and switching to longer school day schedules that enable them to have an extended break. As a person who has always loved her summer break, I believe that this idea should be considered in our district as well.

After comparing my days off and summer break length to my friends from other districts, I have became aware that our summer is shorter than theirs. One of my closest friends, who attends Bonner Springs High School, stated how the school has extended their school days by about five minutes before and after their current start and end times.  This, in turn, has resulted in about a two week longer summer break for her.

These extended school days have more benefits than I had initially thought. A longer summer would lead to more things such as college visitations and summer jobs, which would provide students with a better opportunity to prepare themselves.

As a student who works strictly during the summer time, I find myself having less time to enjoy the weather and stress-free life of break. Instead I am constantly working, trying to save enough money to last me through the year. Not only would a longer summer break give me more time to relax, but it could also mean more time to work and make money.

And, as a junior, I am also intensively looking into college and trying to save as much money as I can to prepare myself. I am also having to apply for scholarships and visit different campuses from around the country. An extended summer could provide me with more time to look into college and decide what is the best fit for me.  This could ultimately set me up for a better experience and education beyond high school.

As I have thought deeper into this scenario, I did some calculations on how much time we could actually extend the break.  Our district runs by the hour rule, meaning we must have a minimum of 1,116 hours in the school year (for grades one through eleven). This year we had about 1,203 hours of school among our 170 days of school.  By adding just 15 minutes to every day, based on the minimum requirement, we could cut back to about 154 school days. That would give us 16 extra days of break resulting in a start date of about September 6.

Overall, a longer break could mean more opportunity for students, especially those who are working summer jobs and preparing for college.  It would also mean more time for everyone else to enjoy the weather and the stress-free break.

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