Why the summer?

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While we all appreciate the summer break, we may not always stop to ask ourselves why there is a summer break? The current American system, which Graded follows, was conceived in the 19th century. At the time there were two main academic calendars for primary and secondary education. In urban areas, schools often ran all year round while in rural areas school had one term during the winter and another during the summer. So what led these two systems to change and conform? The answer can mostly be attributed to money.

As the United States recovered from the Civil War, industrial and economic growth resumed. The rising middle class soon had enough money to take time off and invest in leisure, and the preferred time was naturally the summer. In the summer, the heat in the 19th classroom became unbearable and it was often during that time of the year that young women taught classes, so the summer term was seen as academically weaker. Further investment in leisure also  gave that rise to the idea that children shouldn’t be overloaded with work and should instead be given time to rest and relax.

So as the American educational system became more standardized throughout the country, summer was chosen as the time for a break. The Talon hopes all Graded students have a relaxing summer break.