Teacher's Name:  Mr. James Werick

Grade/Subject:  Grade 7&8 Social Studies / Religion

Contact:  jwerick@stjohnskenmore.com

A Brief History of Summer Vacation:  Not too long ago, there was no such thing as Summer Vacation.  Awful, right?  I know!  Before the Civil War, farm kids had school all winter and all summer, and took breaks during the spring and fall to help their parents plant their crops and harvest them.  City kids had it even tougher, attending school 48 weeks per year, with short breaks each quarter.  In fact, they spent so much time in school that mental health experts worried city kids would have nervous breakdowns or go insane from too much education.  Imagine that!

Anyway, in the second half of the 19th Century, reformers came up with what we know as the modern American school-year calendar, 180 days long, and featuring Summer Vacation.  Great, right?  I know!  This schedule allowed farm kids to pitch in on the farm, city kids to stay sane, and teachers liked it, too.

But do you know that some people say American kids don't spend enough time in school?  Critics point to declining test scores, and claim other countries are beating us in the critical areas of Math and Reading & Language.  Thank goodness that isn't true for St. John's students.  Check out our school's test scores, and you'll see what I mean.  Maybe if every kid went to St. John's, America would be #1 in the world, and we could all have an even longer Summer Vacation.  Wouldn't that be great?  I know!

Enjoy your vacation, and I'll see you in the fall.  --Mr. Werick

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