High School Report 1
For the students the school year begins on Wednesday (sic), August 16. It ends on Tuesday (sic again), May 28. The Christmas vacation began on Thursday, December 21 and ended on Monday, January 8. More than two and a half weeks. Instead of autumn break there’s Thanksgiving in November, which means three days off, and sometimes a whole week. At Easter only Good Friday is a holiday. Instead of Easter break there’s Spring Break in March. For the rest there’s a long weekend in September for Labor Day.
Throughout the year there are three staff development days. Staff development means a day-long speech by the superintendent about how we must hug the students more. If a student gets bad grades, it’s because we don’t hug him enough. A variation on a staff development day is that somebody from outside the school comes to say the same thing. Either way it’s a day off for the students.
Not including the first and last weeks of school, there are 26 whole school weeks and 11 broken-up weeks. In total there are 176 days of school. But that doesn’t by any stretch of the imagination mean 176 days of education.
In the following posts I have placed bits from a letter describing all the non-educational things the school year is spent on. As I do this, you will also get an idea of the (lack of) quality of a high school education in a small South Texas town.
The next post in this series is about how the beginning of the day is spent.
(From a letter in 1996)