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Letter: When the school year starts shouldn’t matter

When the school year begins really doesn’t matter. What matters is the length of time between the end of one school year and the beginning of the next. Twelve weeks may be seen as a benefit to Maryland businesses but it is detrimental to students, families and teachers.

When students are away from the classroom for almost three months, the first few weeks of the new year are lost to reestablishing learning habits. Those skills students have learned need to be exercised or they’re lost. Working parents struggle to find activities and care for their children. Those children most at risk need the structure a good school can provide. Some families use the extra time to spend another week or two at the beach but they are the exception.

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With an extended summer break, many who don’t teach view teaching as a part-time profession. It’s not.

Have students attend school for 180 days with no break longer than six weeks. Place the focus of the education of our children before the interests of Maryland businesses out of self interest for our future.

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Education is difficult to evaluate in terms of a business model because the product is not easily quantified. The product, ultimately, is our future. The focus must be on Maryland students, not Maryland businesses.

I taught high school English for 40 years. My three children attended public school in Maryland, as do my grandchildren.

DEBBY STATHES

Havre de Grace

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