Every student looks forward to their summer break. After months of schoolwork and routine, kids are more than ready to sleep in everyday, stream games and shows, and go on vacation with their families. But what do schools do during summer break?
A school’s work is never done. While most school staff get a break from teaching and supporting students over the summer, their work doesn’t get put on hold. It only changes.
School summer break is the best time for staff to look ahead and plan for the coming school year. It’s also a great time to tackle projects that are difficult to do when the school building is teeming with students. Without the distraction of giving lessons and supervising young people, the immediate priorities of education professionals change.
So what exactly does your local school employees’ and teachers’ summer break entail? Here is your behind-the-scenes look at summertime education.
Are Schools Open During the Summer?
Most U.S. school classes are not in session during the summer, with the exception of the country’s more than 3,000 year-round schools. The other exception is summer school programs that supplement students’ regular studies. Some schools might also be the sites for summer lunch programs or community events.
As it is during the school year when student security is a concern, most schools will be locked to the public over the summer. However, schools are “open” in the sense that many employees are still there working during the day.
What Schools Do During Summer Break
What are school staff doing on campus during summer break? Lots of things.
What Does the Custodial Staff Do All Summer?
School custodians deserve more recognition than they usually get. During the school year, they are responsible for providing a clean and sanitary learning environment, restocking bathroom supplies, tending the grounds, doing minor repairs, and much more. School summer break is the ideal time for them to perform building and grounds maintenance projects that they don’t have time for when classes are in session.
Just a few select tasks that school custodians might do over the summer include:
- Deep-cleaning classrooms, bathrooms, offices, etc.
- Stripping, waxing, buffing, and replacing floors
- Rewiring and replacing light fixtures
- Weeding and watering landscaping
- Mowing and fertilizing lawns
- Maintaining the HVAC system
- Overseeing major repairs and renovations
All of these tasks play an essential part in providing a healthy, appealing atmosphere for learning when classes start again in the fall. Proper maintenance also prevents premature wear and tear, stretching taxpayers’ dollars even further.
What About the Teachers’ Summer Break?
You may have heard of teachers who choose to take a break from work over the summer or others who take temporary jobs for the season. However, for most teachers, summer break is a time for planning for the next school year.
Teachers use their summer vacation time to prepare lesson plans for the coming year and prepare their classrooms. They make changes to accommodate new state laws, district initiatives, school budgets, and educational practices. Many teachers enjoy using this time to update classroom decorations and teaching aids.
There are also a lot of meetings to attend. District and department meetings keep teachers abreast of changes in the school system and discuss solutions and new practices.
Whether they’re redecorating their classrooms or collaborating with administrators, teachers are always working to meet the needs of next year’s students.
What Role Do Office Administrators Play Over the Summer?
For administrators, school summer break can be the busiest time of the year. They only have so many weeks to wrap up the old school year and prepare for the new.
It is their job to support students, families, and other staff, so many of their summertime activities focus on this. They may hire new personnel, order new materials, review budgets, oversee summer programs, plan school-year programs, meet with teachers and district employees, and make improvements in school policies and security.
Administrators know that when issues arise throughout the school year, they will be the ones hearing from upset parents, so they do their best over the summer to anticipate and solve problems before they occur.
You could also say that administrators lead the task force of the school staff, supervising their activities to prepare for the coming school year. They hold the meetings that teachers and other staff attend and liaise with district-level leaders. They need to be a resource for new information coming from the school district, so they spend summers reviewing and implementing new changes in their schools.
Even when students are not on-site, school office administrators are doing all they can to set up those students for a successful new school year.
How Does the School Board Get Involved?
Like school office administrators, school board members also have busy summers. Because these district administrators oversee multiple schools, they are working with staff from all over the community to meet the needs of students who will be enrolling for classes soon.
Board members spend the season overseeing school staff training, attending meetings, hiring new staff, reviewing district policies, and communicating changes to school administrators. They must evaluate the past school year and work to make necessary improvements for the coming one that will affect students, parents, and employees across the district.
School budgets take a significant amount of time for school boards. Members try to create and approve the district’s budget early in the summer, so there is time to disburse funds to individual schools and make purchases for the coming school year. Sometimes budgetary decisions are unpopular, and the board must work through differences of opinion with school administrators and the general community.
Ultimately, the role of district administrators is very similar to that of administrators at individual schools. They simply perform their summer work on a larger scale and oversee the entire school district.
Prepare for the New School Year with Cutting-Edge Technology
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If you will be reviewing your school’s safety measures this summer, consider adopting the cutting-edge technology that other educators say makes their job of keeping students safe easier.