by Emma Hartvickson – Staff Reporter
It is official; our 2017 school year has been extended from June 22 to June 27—two school days longer with a weekend to fill the gap. I would much rather have longer summer than have days continuously subtracted, as I am sure many students can agree.
For me, the extended school year not only affects my mental state, but also my vacations. I have to sit through an extra two days of school, and miss my flight. For athletes with competitions and kids who have already made plans for their summer, the effects of this adjustment are harmful.
Many may wonder where these extra days came from, and the answer is in week of Feb. 6 to 9 when we had no school, due to snow. The school district gave us three whole days off during a couple of snowy days.
The first day off was understandable, but the more days they took off, the longer our school year became. If we had taken late start, or even just tried to go to school, we would not be in this situation. The roads were not even that bad on the last days—, my mom even drove my friend and I to the mall and back without any problem.
Now compared to most other schools in the country, we get out very late in the month of June with the average school days. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average secondary school has about 183.3 days in their school year, but regionally we have the highest amount of school days compared to the Northeast, Midwest, and South. Coming to a total of 182.2 days per year. I thought the best solution would be not giving us mid-winter break and going to school that week to have our school year stay on schedule.
Athletes, like myself have big tournaments towards the end of school. As a club athlete, I travel around the country to play in national tournaments. Many kids are club athletes have these types of tournaments. But this year because of the extended school year, I am unable to attend one.
Since the school year was extended the extra two days, that means that finals will be pushed as well. I cannot leave and miss my final exams of freshman year. My coach who is a teacher at Kentwood cannot leave; she has to give her final to her students. Therefore, we may not even go at all because they decided to give us that extra day off.
The school district should look at the calendar and realize that the district has only one whole month of summer , we are just adding pointless days to the end of our year over time. It is affecting our finals, athletes, summer, and even their work schedule.