Summer is that time of year when students, teachers, administrators, board members, and even school buildings seem to breathe a sigh of relief. Why is summer so special? Perhaps it’s because everyone seems to need a break at the end of the school year, and summer helps provide just that for students and education professionals alike.

The end of the school year gives many of us much to celebrate. We celebrate our students’ completion of one grade and promotion to the next. We celebrate our graduating seniors and delight in seeing them embark on the next phase of their lives. And we celebrate the fact that another year of lesson plans, curriculum development, and testing and evaluation is complete.

So many of our school buildings are now a bit worn and tired after 180 or so days of students and staff walking their halls, eating in their cafeterias, and gathering in their classrooms and assembly halls. Surely, they are looking forward to the deep cleaning of summer when floors are stripped and carpets steamed so they’ll be fresh and ready when the new school year begins in August or September.

Now, not all schools nor all school personnel are on summer hiatus. Some of our schools host summer camps, classes, and reading programs. Some offer meal programs and other supports for students who need them all year round. And, administrative staff likely will spend the summer months reviewing the previous year, building schedules and class rosters, and gearing up for the upcoming year. Yes, even during summertime, most of our public schools are hubs of activity.

For school board members, summer provides a great opportunity to reflect on the past school year and examine your district’s successes and failures. It’s when you can look at what worked and what didn’t, and then plan to set out and do what needs to be done to best serve your students in the upcoming year. And, of course it’s an opportunity to recharge and refocus.

Before we know it, this brief respite and time of reflection will draw to a close. School supplies will be purchased, class rosters will be posted, and the next year of school board meetings will be planned. Students will begin the coming school year with a clean slate and a notebook full of blank pages. School staff will be there to help them write their story and prepare for their future.

And we as board members can get back to doing our part to ensure that each one of our students can receive a free, high-quality education in a safe and supportive learning environment.

As you enjoy the summer, remember: All it takes is you — just one of you, each and every one of you, as board members, working together toward the common goal of helping each and every one of our public school children — just one child at a time.

See you all in September.

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