At Leonia High School, students from freshman year to senior year had summer assignments due within the first two weeks of school. Teachers at Leonia High School were required to assign work over the summer to students to keep their skills sharp. Several students crammed their work late in the summer, stressing about different classes such as AP U.S. History I and Pre-Calculus Honors. On the other hand, many students finished all their work early in the summer and avoided a freak out the night before school started. Each student also needed to pick a summer reading book before the school year ended. Hundreds of students at LHS were loaded with summer work.
Grace Gargiulo, a sophomore at LHS, had multiple assignments during the summer of 2015. However, Grace was one of several students who did not cram all her work the last week or night of the summer. In fact, Grace began her summer homework the weekend after the 2014-2015 school year ended. She says that AP U.S. History I was one of the longest assignments during the break and it took her about two weeks to finish the entire task. Students in AP U.S. History I had to read the first twelve chapters of American Colonies by Alan Taylor and had to annotate every other page using three different types of topics, including the main idea, an interesting quote and a question about the text. Grace stated, “The reading and annotating wasn’t hard, but it was really long. I did a lot of the reading down at the shore when I was visiting family.” Grace was one of many students who had to do these assignments, but she is one of the few who decided to finish it early in the summer.
David Koslow, a new student in the sophomore class, did not expect to have such a large amount of work during the summer for his classes. When picking what classes he wanted to take, he decided to take advanced classes such as AP U.S. History I. Since David only enrolled in the school two weeks before classes started, he believed that he could do all his summer assignments the week before school started. However, when looking at all of the work, he realized that he had made a terrible miscalculation. He states, “I didn’t know that the teachers gave out this much over the summer. I was literally sitting home doing the assignments for hours at a time. The hardest class assignment to finish was the AP U.S. History I.” Luckily, David finished all his work the day before school started. Several students had the same problem as David with cramming all their summer assignments into the last minute. A few students became stressed, worrying about beginning school and about their first few grades of the first marking period. However, most students decided to ignore those details until the day before the school year started.
While many students meet summer work with shock and horror, it is something that is supposed to keep our brains from decomposing in the two months we have out of school. Leaving the work to the last minute not only causes unnecessary anguish, it also defeats the purpose of keeping yourself mentally active over the summer.