You may just be drawing summer's second breath -- packing for a trip to the beach, shopping for great summer bargains -- but a good thing does not last forever, or even for the rest of the month.
Members of the county school system are counting the days until school begins. To add insult to injury, the doors open the last day of what is traditionally America's vacation month: August.
Principal Leslie A. Mobray and his staff at Severna Park Middle School have devised an ingenious plan to make adjusting to middle school life a little less traumatic for sixth- and seventh-graders.
It's called a staggered opening. Pay attention, this gets tricky.
On Monday, Aug. 31, SPMS will be open only for sixth-graders. They must arrive in the gymnasium by 7:50 a.m.
Seventh- and eighth-graders will remain home and will not be counted absent.
Activities for the sixth-graders will include orientation, meeting teachers, attending all their classes and having lunch. The students will be escorted to first period, where they will receive their class schedules.
The first day will end at 2:30 p.m.
The next day, Tuesday, Sept. 1, sixth- and seventh-graders will report to school by 7:50 a.m.
Sixth-graders will report to their first-period classes. Seventh-graders will report to the cafeteria.
Eighth-graders again will remain at home.
Sixth-graders will follow their regular class schedules, while seventh-graders attend an orientation, meet their teachers and receive their schedules during first period. Lunch will be served. The day ends for everyone at 2:30 p.m.
Finally, on Wednesday, Sept. 2, all students (including the well-rested eighth-graders) report to school by 7:50 a.m. Eighth-graders will report to the cafeteria for orientation.
With all three grades finally getting the hang of school life, they'll get a reprieve on Friday, Sept. 4, when school will be closed.
If you don't believe any of this, you can call the school at 647-7900.
Remember, there are no half-days at the beginning of this school year, so give your child lunch money.
The kids will have 27 minutes to eat. A lunch, including milk, costs $1.10; milk alone is 30 cents. A la carte items also will be available.
Sixth-graders will eat lunch at 10:28 a.m., seventh-graders at 11:23 a.m., and eighth-graders at 12:18 p.m.
Children who ride the bus should be at the bus stop 10 minutes early for the first few days.
The phone numbers of all Greater Severna Park elementary schools have been changed. Middle and high school numbers remain the same.
The new numbers are Arnold, 222-1670; Belvedere, 222-6582; Benfield, 222-6555; Broadneck, 222-1680; Folger McKinsey, 222-6560; Jones, 222-6565; Oak Hill, 222-6568; Severna Park, 222-6577; and Shipley's Choice, 222-3805.
To reach the high schools, call Broadneck at 757-1300; Old Mill, 969-7000, and Severna Park, 544-0900. Severn River Junior High School is 544-0922.
Even before the school bell rings, parents have to worry about up-to-date immunizations for their children.
Beginning in September, students entering kindergarten and sixth grade must show proof of two vaccinations for measles -- usually given as measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) -- and one vaccination for mumps. The shots must have been given on or after the child's first birthday.
The proof has to be in writing. Students without proof of these vaccinations by the 20th day of school will not be allowed to stay in school.
* The Anne Arundel County Health Department has scheduled extended immunization hours at the Severna Park Health Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 29.
Experienced, licensed practical nurses can complete the educational requirements to become registered nurses through an accelerated 12-month program at Anne Arundel Community College.
Through AACC's LPN upward mobility program and advanced placement options, LPNs can earn an associate in arts degree in one year.
Free orientation seminars are set for 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 19, and 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, Aug. 27, in the college Careers Center.
For more information, contact Jeanne Gobel at 541-2217.
The artwork of two Severn School students appeared in the July issue of Annapolis Lifestyle magazine.
Juniors Jessica Early, daughter of Jeremiah and Diana Early, and Joseph Nepomuceno, son of Dr. and Mrs. Jose Nepomuceno, each received a full-page spread for their drawings.