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Poll: Should School Start After Labor Day?

Local dad says the school year shouldn't begin until after Labor Day weekend

When I was growing up, I savored my last day off before school started.

I would usually spend the day at our lake community in northern New Jersey shooting hoops and enjoying the last few hours of sunshine before the chaos of classes and homework returned.

After all, it was the last "unofficial" day of summer -- Labor Day.

And that's how students should spend the last day of their summers -- at home on summer vacation. There's no reason school needs to start any earlier.

It's kind of silly how some school districts in Pennsylvania -- like the Easton Area School District -- start the new year before summer is "unofficially" over.

What's the point?

The school schedule is stupid anyway.

Students -- like those at in Forks Township -- start school Monday and Tuesday with half days and are off Friday for a lengthy Labor Day weekend holiday that includes Monday as another day off.

So basically, students are going to school next week TWO FULL DAYS.

Last year seemed to be a wash schedule-wise, too. We had a tropical storm that pounded the region, pulling the plug on the opening day of the school year.

Isn't that a child's dream? Having the first day of school canceled.

Hurricanes and tropical storms, popular this time of the year, will do that to you.

With a lack of winter last year, the Easton Area School District dismissed students for the year a week earlier than normal. Most parents weren't so thrilled about that.

So what's the rush with starting the year so early?

Do children really benefit? Do parents, who could plan one last family vacation and take advantage of the Labor Day holiday? Does it help having two half-days to start the year if you have to plan for child care?

These are kids. Let them enjoy every last moment of summer, which we all know "unofficially" runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

A lot of other states, and other districts in our state, start school after Labor Day. They're the smart ones.

Change the schedule next year. Give children -- and their parents -- a little more summer.

After all, what's wrong with a little more sunshine in our lives.

Sandra R. Schantz September 03, 2012 at 12:12 PM
Starting school before Labor Day is not a new policy and will just require time for people to adjust to it. Having grandchildren in another district which starts before Labor Day, it is always nice for them to be out of school long before East Penn kids, and families could get started on early vacations. As our kids were dragging to school in hot buses and dreaming of being out of school in mid June, they were at a vacation spot. Also, with days added for snow, our final day will not be after the 14th of June which can also effect pre-set vacation days. I think more education will happen in late August when children are ready to get back then can happen at the end of the schoolyear when they are tired of it and ready for a break.We must all try to adjust to new ideas and face them with an open mind as we look at the positives of the situation.
Kathleen Parsons September 03, 2012 at 12:36 PM
It's just something to adjust to. With the standardized testing schedule, especially AP testing in May, it just makes more sense to get in more days before Spring fever sets in. Getting out earlier in June is huge.
Lisa Boland September 03, 2012 at 01:40 PM
This was the first year East Penn went back before Labor Day. There were four full days, Monday-Thursday, with Friday off for an extra long weekend. However, I looked at the school calendar for the whole year. The kids are not getting out much earlier than last year. This school year's last day is set for June 10th, last year's was June 12th. There were no snow days to make up. What has changed is that there are a few more days off during the year. I personally hate that the kids went back early. It may only be a week but it still made a big difference. It cut into the joy of summer. Labor Day may be the "unofficial" end of summer but it certainly is the emotional end.
Sandra R. Schantz September 03, 2012 at 01:54 PM
It's nice that the kids already have four days in.
Sue September 03, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Personally I believe we should have school all year, so starting a week before Labor Day is a start in the right direction. Sorry to those who disagree.
john September 03, 2012 at 03:19 PM
My kids start after Labor Day (Parkland). I agree with the above poster on having school all year long (as does the rest of the world) would be a big boost to education in the US. Give the kids a few 1 or 2 week breaks throughout the year (Christmas, Spring and Summer) and give the kids a week or two 'floating' vacation time....any tests/quizzes/homework during that time doesn't count towards the final grade (not averaged in)...but the kids are responsible for the materials they cover during that period. Part of the education process should be learning what 'real life' is after school.....I don't know too many jobs (even Teachers frequently work during the summer or before/after school ends) that allow you 3 months off.
Mom of DnNnD September 03, 2012 at 05:22 PM
These are children, there is no reason for them to go all year round. When they graduate they need to go to work 5 days a week all year round. Let them have their summer. I had great summer memories from when I was a kid and I don't plan on depriving my children of the same great memories. Now back to the topic: I will not allow my children to start before Labor Day, it's just dumb. Plus my vacation from work is the last week of August due to scheduling, I'm not missing out on my vacation because someone came up with the dumb idea to start school the week before.
Notbornyesterday September 03, 2012 at 06:18 PM
They are still going to school the same number of days, it's not "depriving" them of anything except sitting at their desks in June when they could be playing outside. If the public school schedule doesn't work, perhaps you should think of home-schooling. What if everyone just had their kids go to school when it was convenient for them? Nothing stays the same, and that's not always a bad thing.
ted.dobracki September 03, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Schools in TX, IN, and NC (all states that I have lived in over the last decade) have long started in early to mid August and finished before Memorial Day. Many school "corporations" near where I lived in Indiana, are using a "balanced" schedule for the first time this year. This schedule has two week breaks between each of the quarters, with only about 6- 7 weeks off for the summer. This year, some schools even started in the last week of July. Since this is the first year with that schedule, there really isn't any real feedback yet from our friends and relatives who are parents or school workers. The purpose of this, in theory, is that some kids need a kick after the long summer break and a shorter break might mitigate that. One school district where my friend worked at also considered reversing the conventional daily start and close times for the elementary schools, making the elementary kids start earlier (say 7:30AM) and the upper levels later (say 9 AM), citing studies from schools that said it fit the natural (and acquired) biological rhythms of the age groups better. Studies indicated that the younger kids were better earlier in the day, while the older ones started later. That change was rejected, since people had too many concerns about day care, sports, and other issues that they feared would cause drastic changes that would necessarily re-arrange peoples daily lives. Towns that did it successfully recommended a long, mutli-year planning process
Ben Miller September 04, 2012 at 01:14 AM
You contradict yourself in your whole statement. You begin by saying it's not a new policy, then immediately say it will require time for people to adjust to it. In the end, you implore us to adjust to new ideas.
Ben Miller September 04, 2012 at 01:16 AM
I'd be curious how many of the people who voted "no" actually have children in a school that started before Labor Day.
careless fills September 04, 2012 at 01:22 AM
Does a vote for NO to the question "should school start after Labour Day" mean that school shouldn't start at all?
tamarya September 04, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Nazareth man, she was referring to east penn is who is newly starting this yr before labor day. Brandywine, which my kids attend, Northern Lehigh, Most schools up in carbon and monroe county have begun before labor day a few yrs after I graduated, which was in 96. As for ending late starting later, brandywine gives a whole week off at easter, monday through monday, and they still ended almost 2 weeks before east penn last yr. They ended june 6th. Where east penn was at least a week longer and they do not get a week off at easter.
tamarya September 04, 2012 at 02:11 AM
Like I said how my kids go, so they are basically making the yr longer for them. Which then I agree they are not benefitting at all going earlier.
tamarya September 04, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Because my 2 end june 6th again with the easter week off, which is for snow days, but no snow days they get a week easter vacation. Last yr they went monday and were off the rest.
tamarya September 04, 2012 at 02:09 PM
I will vote no and mine do start before for the last 3 school yrs.
Collee davis September 04, 2012 at 09:22 PM
I have no problem with starting before Labor Day if they actually got OUT earlier in June. I don't consider June 12th earlier......
Bernardo September 06, 2012 at 03:29 PM
3 months off ? Not quite. Teachers start the week before school starts and continue after for a few days at the end of the school year. Also, the teachers I know, (Parkland Elementary), are doing prep work and planning throughout the summer to ensure a good experience for their children.
tamarya September 06, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Bernardo are you reading the comment or picking what you feel it says? The poster wrote "I do not know too many jobs, even teachers frequently work during the summer or before/after school ends, that allows you 3 months off". What they were referring too the kids having almost 3 months off.

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