Last year many schools started “fall” classes earlier than the date set in state law. This year, Labor Day falls late in the summer, but state Education Department spokeswoman Kathy Slaughter says that isn’t the determining date. She says the date of Labor Day has nothing to do with the start of the school year, and though it seems like some kind of important date in many people’s minds, more and more schools have been “edging their school start dates back” so school often starts the third week in August. While there’s a state law with a complicated guideline, Slaughter says it boils down to the first week in September. School can start anytime from August 30th to September 3. That does not mean schools begin then, however.She says while the law may say the start date should be the first week of September, more than three-hundred of the 370 school districts in the state will request a waiver to begin earlier than that. Last year, hot weather forced many schools that had opened early to close for a day or two and send students home. The schools were criticized for that, but Slaughter says there’s a good reason to get classes up and running by the end of summer. She says you’ll have weather issues any time of year, but what officials most often hear from teachers is that “kids are eager to get out — and eager to get back.” Teachers tell them it’s not a good idea to lengthen the school year in springtime, but she says students are “done with summer” by the end of August, and ready to go back to school.
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