Kitty Stone Back to School_022 tp.jpg

JSU head football coach John Grass, along with wife Jada walk their kids Jules and Jace to their classrooms. JSU Wednesday was the first day of the school year and it was also the first day ever in the brand new Kitty Stone Elementary School in Jacksonville.

Let's start an argument and present two theories:

-Classes start waayyy too early at most schools in the United States.

-Students' summer vacation is waayyy too long and should be shortened to facilitate better learning.

Now, calm down. The editors here at THE HOT BLAST don't necessarily agree with either of those theories. But since most K-12 schools are either back in class this week, or will be soon, it's worth bringing up these constant discussions about American education.

A couple of points to make:

First, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are fairly clear with its data. Classes start too early each morning and could be potentially hazardous to students' health because of a lack of sleep. It's hard enough for a lot of us adults to be alert at 7:30 each morning without a few gallons of coffee.

Second, about 3,700 U.S. schools use what often is called "year-round" school that includes frequent, shorter breaks and does not include a long summer break in June and July. I know, I know. That's heresy in many corners. Yet there are educators who firmly believe it is the way to go because it allows teachers to avoid the summer learning slump some students invariably suffer from when they return in August.

Thoughts? Argue among yourselves, please.

-- Phillip Tutor