Athletes’, students’ summer altered by late start


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Governor Larry Hogan’s order for starting school after Labor Day started this year after much discussion and debate.  Hogan believed that “delaying the start of the school year would be good for businesses, families and the environment — because schools would not need to use air-conditioning for as many days in August.”
The extra week of school did have its perks, including extra time for a last minute beach vacation or  staying up late binge watching Netflix shows. The extra days off allowed for much needed rest and relaxation for students and teachers who work hard all year long.
Teacher Larissa Arist said, “We love summer! The change has been wonderful and both my husband and I are teachers so we are home all summer long.  It even saved us money!”.
But not everyone was in favor of the delayed school start. Take for example, any student who chose to participate in a fall sport. For athletes,  the month of August and those extra days off were limited. Despite the first day of school being in September,  tryout dates and practices remained the same.
As a result, coaches,  athletes, parents were flooding the North Harford fields and hallways starting August 11.That’s a full 25 days (including weekends) before the rest of the students population returned. Weekends were not an option for fun in the sun either, since many of these teams also had pre-season tournaments, including teams like field hockey.
Since fall traditionally has the most students participating in sports, this means a significant number of students and staff members at NH and elsewhere did not get to enjoy the extended summer Hogan hoped for.
Athletes were not the only ones who did not benefit from the change in the school start date.  Parents had to figure at planning daycare for their children for longer a period of time since they were at work while their kids were not in school.
Other  local teachers who live in Pennsylvania but teach in Maryland found they also had to face some challenges.This is because teachers in Maryland had a week of pre-service meetings prior to students returning to school.
“It was actually kind of difficult because I work in Harford County, but we live in Pennsylvania so my kids started school August 24.  Even though I got to come back late, my kids still had to go back early,”   social studies teacher Mark Filiaggi said. “Between football and my kids going to school it kind of felt like school was already back anyway.”
Athletes want that 25 days of binge watching and sleeping back and if practice times and tryouts dates remain the same then all fall athletes can kiss their sweet summer in August goodbye.

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Athletes’, students’ summer altered by late start