KIDSGAZETTE

The longest summer break ever is finally over

Sixth grader Samele Willigs gets off the bus for the first day of school at Prairie Creek Intermediate in Cedar Rapids o
Sixth grader Samele Willigs gets off the bus for the first day of school at Prairie Creek Intermediate in Cedar Rapids on Monday, Aug. 31, 2020. College Community students in the A block started class on Monday, and the B block will begin Thursday. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

For most American kids, this year’s summer break from school was the longest ever.

In Iowa, nearly every school closed after the governor recommended they do so on March 15, back when the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 had only been detected in 22 Iowans. Students in Cedar Rapids Community Schools were already enjoying spring break then.

So that break just went on and on (and on). Then, right when schools were about to reopen last month, the derecho storm blew in and damaged many of the schools in Cedar Rapids. So the break continued.

But now, after a 27-week-long school vacation, it’s almost over. Did you have fun during the endless summer of 2020? Or were you ready for it to end a few months ago?

Ready or not, the first day of school for Cedar Rapids kids is Monday — one week from today.

Students in many nearby school districts already have been back at school for weeks. That’s because the derecho didn’t hit them as hard. Many kids at Prairie Creek Intermediate in the College Community School District, for example, went back to school Aug. 31 while some of their classmates started Sept. 3.

Farther south, in the Clear Creek Amana Community School District, kids have been back in class, both in-person and online, since August 24. That’s almost a whole month sooner than Cedar Rapids Schools!

You might be wondering, does that mean next summer break will start later? It won’t! The Cedar Rapids district got special permission to start the school year late and still have the last day of school be June 1.

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Maybe you’re starting school this fall like you normally would, by actually going to your school building and sitting in a classroom. (Or, kind of normal, since you might be wearing a face mask.) Maybe you’re going to school virtually, waving to your friends and teachers in little Zoom boxes on a computer. Maybe you’re home schooling, or learning in another different, entirely new way!

No matter how your personal school year is starting, we know this is a strange time for students, school staff and basically everyone. We hope you have a great first day and, as Cedar Rapids Schools Superintendent Noreen Bush said, “let’s help each other to get through this unprecedented time.”

Comments: (319) 398-8330; molly.duffy@thegazette.com

 

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