Eskildson: common sense suggests it’s too darn hot for the kids in August!

During 40-plus years off residing within the Scottsdale Unified School District, I’ve spent a lot of time outdoors — mostly bicycling about 250,00-plus miles.

Loyd Eskildson

During that time I’ve been the subject of two EMT calls and nearly collapsed two other times, as well as incurring nearly 30 skin cancers and other serious heat stroke warning signs including diarrhea, confusion and suddenly feeling cool.

Given that experience, I can credibly assert that August is both too hot for school or to try and sneak over the border. So, why do we now start school in August? Former Superintendent Birdwell claimed it reduced “summer learning loss.” I looked that up, found almost no research on the topic, and little/nothing supporting that claim.

I also found that Massachusetts, which is the state that leads the nation in public school achievement, does not open schools until after Labor Day. Regardless, whether school opens in September or August, students still have the same number of non-school days – ergo, ‘what’s the difference?’

Opening schools in August does, however, increase overall utility expenditures, contributes to Global Warming, and contributes to customer dissatisfaction by limiting family vacation options.

My biggest concern involves student athletes thereby forced to practice/play in hotter temperatures than otherwise. A few have died. That really, really bothers me! More will follow.

Hopefully, at some point you’ll have the opportunity to help bring sanity back.

Editor’s note: Mr. Eskildson is a member of the Scottsdale Unified School District community

Mr. Eskildson is a Paradise Valley resident.

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