Are Longer Summer Vacations Better? WHS Students Share Their Joy and Concerns
by Audrey McClatchie
This past summer was the longest that FCPS students have had for a while. While most kids celebrated the extra time for soaking in the rays, is a longer vacation worth sacrificing breaks throughout the year?
On August 31, 2016, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan made an official law stating that public school from now on will start after labor day. “I was excited, but I was a little skeptical at first,” sophomore Carly Rubin admitted.
“I’m happy because I don’t have to be in school,” eagerly stated junior Barry Fleming. Most students just saw the long vacation from school, and didn’t realize the repercussions that would follow.
Junior Zakhari Marbray explained how we now have “less school days off, [meaning that] some people have to miss school.” Because of the extra long summer, the school year is extremely condensed, with very little time off. Many students may be absent at school because of religious holidays, or spring/winter vacations.
As for setting this new law, Hogan had his own reasoning.  He stated that the longer summer would give families more time together, as well as boost the local economy with more revenue for summer dependent industries.
Hogan also argued that having a later start to the school year would save money for schools. He explained, “Schools would not need to use air-conditioning for as many days in August.”
Even with his strong points, Hogan was met with a torrent of protest. Many kids rely on school meals throughout the year, and the longer vacation made that a problem.  ”Eighty-four percent of public school students in Baltimore qualify for subsidized meals, and many rely on the school system for at least two meals a day.”
Right here at Walkersville High School, some students are in slight protest of the extra lengthy summer. Fleming argues, “It’s just more time for previously learned material to slip away from your brain, so it’s going to be hard getting back into the swing of the school year.”
There is much controversy involved in this new law, but since it has been passed, students as well as teachers are adjusting. Coordinator of Special Education and Psychology service Kim Booher shared her thoughts on how this law effects adults during the extended summer. “I think that [more] parents have to worry about day care, [since] their day care might not be open.”
Despite the setbacks, many people are happy to have this new schedule. A longer vacation is “more time to mentally prepare for school” as said by Rubin. For students working, it’s one more paycheck. “It’s a work season, [and now] you know exactly when you have to start school,” said Marbray, “So if you get a job, you can know exactly when you have to go back.”
When it comes to this new schedule working out, Maryland isn’t alone. “Other states have been doing this successfully,” reassured Booher.
There are many opinions regarding this new law, but Walkersville High School students and staff are ready to make the most of it!