School Starting Earlier in the Year

School Starting Earlier in the Year

By Nancy Mikhail

It seems as if every year the school year starts a bit earlier and earlier into the summer. When I was in school, we started in September, after Labor Day. Now, most public schools start at the latest mid-August. It’s bittersweet because on one hand teachers have more time to teach material for standardized testing, however on the other hand, it’s still very hot and everyone is still in “summer mode.”

Pro: Teachers have more time to teach material before standardized testing.

As it is, districts put a lot of pressure on teachers to teach a certain amount of material before standardized testing. Since testing begins in April, it makes sense to start the year earlier to ensure students are taught as much information as possible, decreasing the stress placed upon teachers (yea right).

Con: It’s still summer!

It’s hot out and the days are still long – children don’t want to sit in a classroom yet. This may also change family vacations and activities. Families may not be able to go on as many vacations because summer just “flew” by.

Pro: School ends earlier in the year.

School used to end mid-June, but now most districts end late May or early June. With this schedule, students are still able to receive the same amount of summer time as they would with the later date.

Con: School clothes shopping gets confusing.

It’s also confusing when it comes to shopping for school clothes. Shopping for school clothes usually means fall and winter clothes, not summer.

Here are a curriculum planning tips for teachers: First, creating a curriculum plan always helps with staying on track. Before the school year starts, sit down and plan out the year. Have your standards in front of you along with a blank curriculum map and then start filling it in. Second, it’s also helpful to plan thematically. Planning thematically enables you to combine standards and teach two, maybe three, subjects at once. For example, you can combine a history lesson with a math one and that way you are able to cover more material at one time. If you have specific questions on how to do this or would like some assistance, email me at or just leave a comment below.

Parents and teachers, what’s your take on this? Do you like/dislike the new schedules?