Summer Schooled


With summer comes the long lusted break from school filled by late nights, sleeping till noon, relaxing by the pool and hanging out with friends. Yet this newfound freedom is often plagued by overhanging summer assignments in anticipation of August. Often in procrastination and rushed, last minute accomplishment,  many students speculate how necessary the assignments are.

The question regarding the role of summer assignments is often debated throughout the country, with opinions ranging from college professors to small town students. Many experts claim that summer homework is necessary to help students from losing information taught the previous year, yet many argue that this assigned homework does no work to improve standardized test scores and may even hinder a student’s motivation.

The summer homework issue can be debated on a large scale, but many are left to wonder its place at North. Students have been completing summer homework since the beginning of high school. The continuing argument: What’s the point?

“It gives me a review, and that’s good for me because I don’t want to feel unprepared when I come back to school,” junior Isha Pirani said.

Many summer homework assignments, regarding subjects like math, offer students a review of information learned in prior years. This can give students and teachers the advantage of diving into new information immediately.

“The purpose of the summer assignment for AP U.S. is to get a head start on that first unit . . . So it’s a matter of trying to get everything in, so that students are prepared on May 10 to take the AP test,” said Jason Smajda, AP United States History teacher.

 In many rigorous courses, information builds upon itself. In math, Algebra II includes several concepts prominent in Pre-Calculus. In English, essays are written to compare multiple novels. In history, events are being added with the progression of time. Whether or not the curriculum continues to change, summer assignments offer teachers the opportunity to review old topics or introduce new ones.

“It’s basis information, so we can’t learn other things unless we know what was covered over the summer assignment,” junior Mia Filby said.

 However, purpose doesn’t remain the only question regarding the prominence of summer homework; many claim motivation is the recurring issue.

“During summer, you don’t want to do homework, so most people don’t do it full out until they get back to school,” Filby said.

Work ethic plays a crucial part regarding an issue with summer assignments. Many students admitted not beginning work on summer assignments until the Monday and Tuesday before school started on Aug. 15. However, some teachers believe that most summer work displays more effort because they have more time to complete it.

“People do it well. And I think it’s because you have all summer to do it. In fact, students will turn in a summer assignment that’s, normally, more thorough and better written out than the next unit will be,” Smajda said.