Students shouldn’t attend summer school

Even though leaders across America are making efforts to make summer school an option for students, students should not be required to take part in this strenuous mental activity. Despite the fact that classes held during typical summer break months of June, July, and August might be more beneficial in protecting against COVID-19, the extra strain placed on students’ shoulders will do nothing but damage students’ mental health, therefore prohibiting academic growth. In normal years, summer break is students’ and teachers’ only opportunity to be able to relax without worrying about deadlines, homework, or getting lesson plans prepared. If that much-needed break was taken away entirely, the stress that school puts on students and teachers would remain year-long, leading to worse mental health and increased dropout rates. 

In a recent New York Times article regarding students attending summer school to make up for lost time, Shannon Doyle explored both the positive and negative aspects that summer school would offer. A positive aspect of summer school, according to Dana Goldstein and Kate Taylor in an article cited by Doyle, would be that it would be safer for students and teachers to return to school in the summer rather than throughout the normal school year since all teachers would be given plenty of time to get vaccinated beforehand. A negative aspect would be having to scrape up enough money to pay teachers as well as providing money to make schools safer. This simply cannot be done in this difficult time, what with the government having to pay for stimulus checks and vaccinations. 

Although summer classes might be safer, no student, no matter if they are behind or not, should have to return to school in time allotted to themselves. It may seem as if we students aren’t working as hard this year, what with shorter school days and some students going completely virtual, but most students are working just as hard as ever, if not even harder. Teachers are also in dire need of a long break because this year they are having to do double the work to allow for both in-person and online students. For the government to expect teachers to do both double the work through the normal school year and then work through their designated break is preposterous. 

Every student and teacher this year in every grade level has agreed on one thing: COVID-19 and the resulting remote learning has hindered us greatly when it comes to academics. Right now, most of my classes have taught about half of what they would in a normal year. Even though each class is running slow this year, no student, whether behind or not, should have to attend summer school, and if schools were to take action in this absurd idea, it definitely shouldn’t be mandatory. We don’t need to give up our summer break over something we cannot control. If summer school was offered, I for one would not partake in it. I think this year has been extremely hectic, and I’m not too eager about giving up my break to do more school work. This year I have been stressing about school more than ever, and I think if I were to do summer classes I would just break down from the constant stress.

Each grade level has been affected immensely by remote learning. While the immediate solution would be to make students attend summer school, this would do nothing but harm them in the long run from the constant stress. One solution to the stress, however, might be to include stress-reduction classes, like yoga or art. If the fine arts are incorporated into summer school, students might be more apt to join. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that we are all in the same boat, and no matter what, we can adjust to anything.