Back to school [Editorial]

The Aegis

Another school year is upon us, a time for hopes and a few fears and much anticipation, both for students and our parents.

A few area private schools, like John Carroll in Bel Air, began classes earlier this week, but the majority of the public schools across Maryland, including Harford and Cecil counties, won’t start until Tuesday, courtesy of the governor’s declaration last year that classes should not start until after Labor Day.

So, as noted back in the spring, the kids were treated to an extraordinarily long summer break, thank’s to the post-Labor Day start decree coupled with last winter’s relatively mild weather that resulted in few missed days last school year and provided an early June finish.

Was it worth it to have what amounted to more than two extra weeks off this summer? There were plenty of naysayers when the post-Labor Day start plan surfaced, worried about such things as children not retaining what they learned the previous year or teachers not having enough planning time during the new school year, which will have fewer days off in the next nine and a half months.

We’re sure there will be plenty of post-mortem assessments coming forth after Tuesday, and the situation certainly presents a convenient excuse for every time a test score falls, a class is failed or a kid gets in trouble. Blame it on too much time off for the summer.

For the time being, however, the new school year is dawning and the most important reminder is for everyone on the road to slow down, not just in school zones as the law requires, but on neighborhood and city streets, because that’s where thousands of kids are going to be every morning and afternoon.

And good luck to all, because while this isn’t the only place we learn, attending school for 13 years is one of the single best opportunities and privileges presented to each and every one of us in our lifetimes.

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