Legislature brings a long summer

Published 1:26 pm Monday, June 4, 2012

Legislators are hoping a later fall school date will send more families to the coast.

By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist

With the Alabama Legislature setting August 20 as our school start date, many teachers will spend summer tweaking lesson plans to accommodate the change. While the Legislature is hoping that the extra days of summer inspire families to spend more vacation dollars, how are students and teachers planning for a longer summer?

“When we first get out of school, I am happy to be out. After time passes, I get bored and I’m ready for school to start back,” rising sixth-grader Claire Brasfield said.

I agree with Brasfield. The beginning of summer is always welcome, but what happens once that thrill subsides — and what do high school students think about the longer summer?

“I think the longer summer is great,” PHS senior Megan Harris said. “It’s more time to hang out with my friends before the stress of senior year.”

“I’m thrilled to have a long summer,” PHS senior Meghan Farrell said. “I have so much to do with my band, work, applying for scholarships and getting ready for next year that a little extra time to do it all is highly appreciated.”

Teachers and administrators have their own take on the new calendar.

“The August 20th start date will definitely work in our favor as we work to get in our new wing for the opening of school,” PHS Principal Bob Lavett said.

For teachers, summer abounds with opportunities. I attend the Alabama Scholastic Press Association Long Weekend Journalism Camp at the University of Alabama in June. Learning what’s new in publications’ technology and trends, I find great techniques for teaching Literary Magazine and writing electives in many sessions. Students also attend the camp developing new skills and amazing ideas. Their enthusiasm ignites literary magazine classes when school starts.

Many teachers will spend time in professional development and many will collect Honors and Advanced Placement work during the summer. I’m glad for the chance to plan more effectively for eight-period days, to study, to read and write. These extra days of summer should provide the rejuvenation needed to start our next school year refreshed and ready.


Connie Nolen can be reached at CNolen@Shelbyed.k12.al.us.