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Why the need to start school so early?

By Staff | Apr 22, 2016

I have heard many parents, not to mention students, express their dislike and concerns over the proposed school calendar for 2016-17 that has been posed by the Jefferson County Board of Education.

I must join in voicing the question of “What exactly are you thinking?” Why on earth would our Board of Education not coincide with neighboring Berkeley County? Don’t we both have to have the same number of instructional days in the year?

Why would our Board decide that spring break does not need to coincide with Easter? Do they not realize that many people travel that week simply because it coincides? Do they not realize that our school baseball and softball teams travel that week for tournaments as part of their traditional schedule? Does the Board intend to disallow these trips and experiences for our student athletes?

And frankly, what is the purpose of starting school as early as Aug.15? The year does not end any more quickly so what is the point? The proposed last day is June 1 while this year it was initially June 3 (before snow days extended it).

It has been controversial enough that we have started school during the week of the Jefferson County Fair for the past few years which challenges many young people who exhibit livestock and other animals. Now the proposal is to start even before Fair Week.

The start date pushes against students completing band camp and will have working students potenially leaving a job a week early.

I have heard no arguments for this excessively early start. Let’s hope that reasons will be given to the public at Monday evening’s Board of Education meeting. Or, better yet, let’s hope this Board reconsiders and aligns their calendar with our neighbors.