Going back to school means no more sleeping late, kicking back on the beach or working full-time summer jobs. It's time to gear up for school, and for some south Georgia students, the time is now.
Administrators in Grady County say they've started a week early so they can get their required 90 days of school in before the Christmas holiday, and test out a new fall break in October. The parking lot, classrooms and hallways at Cairo High School are buzzing. Classes are back in session. Some say much too soon.
Students here have had their summer break cut short by a week. Classes began July 31. This is the earliest students in Grady County have ever had to come back to school. Administrators say this is an experiment; they've added a new fall break and they want to see how it works out.
"We're going to get a whole week off of school, which is good because I think everybody needs that relaxation," says Kyle Fusco, a ninth grader.
This is the second year districts in Thomas and Decatur County are following similar schedules. Educators in Grady County say they feel going in early was a good decision and will be even more beneficial when the holidays roll around.
"Schools that started later are going later in December, so come Christmastime, we'll be glad that we came early!" says Celia Bass, a chemistry teacher.
Going to class may be hard to get used to now, but students and staff agree that if this means more vacation time later, it's worth it. Schools in Grady County will finish on time next year. May 20 will be their last day.
Teachers at Cairo High School say that administrators may be trying to work up to year-round classes. However, they don't know exactly when that may happen.