While many Valley kids headed back into the classroom this week, Queen Creek Unified School District students were already well into the swing of things.
"We start in July but we have two weeks off in the fall, two weeks off at winter break, two weeks off at spring, and we end at memorial day," said Allison Carmichael, principal at Gateway Polytechnic Academy.
The reason for starting so early? Blame the "summer slide." In other words, kids forget what they've learned during the long break.
"It is a good thing for kids and a good thing for learners that we start school early and have a shorter summer," said Carmichael.
But there is concern about kids going back to school in the extreme heat and about being outside during recess. Carmichael said they keep an eye on the heat index.
"Grade levels that maybe have a later recess or a later lunch might miss one of the recesses," she said. "They wouldn't go outside. We would actually hold the recess indoors."
Carmichael said she usually knows when they're going to modify their activities before that early bell even rings.
"When I leave in the morning and hear that it's a record-setting day, I can predict already that we are going to be inside at some point during the day."