A short summer -- for a good reason

Thursday, May 29, 2003

Ah, to have 64 days of summer vacation.

It may not sound like a lot to students in public schools, but ask any 40-hour-a-week factory worker if he'd like to get 64 days off without financial retribution and see if he whines for a few more.

In Cape Girardeau, the school district is only going to have 64 days of summer break this year. It's surely an inconvenience for some, especially parents who now are rearranging family vacations and already paid camp fees or who have children who will miss seasonal work and sports opportunities.

That is unfortunate.

But most parents should -- and seemingly do -- understand that this was unavoidable. The 2002-2003 school year began after Labor Day because of construction work at the new Central High School. That problem was compounded by eight days when the weather was uncooperative and school had to be canceled.

It's really a small price to pay, considering that the community now has a new high school. Students may not care about that now, but, as their parents have told them often enough, they'll understand that when they're older.

In 20 years, former students who will be working 40 hours a week will look back on this summer and remember the fun times they had, not that it was a few days shorter.

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