The rationale for the shorter summer


Halsey Smith

EGR students will have to cope with a shorter summer this year.

August 20 marks the first time that students will return to school before Labor Day.

This change has been years in the making. A Kent ISD waiver overrode the 12-year-old Michigan law that required a post-Labor Day start date in the interest of state economics. Out of the public schools in Kent and Ottawa counties, 27 of 31 have already made the switch.

East was excluded from this schedule change for a year because of an existing contract that was still in place at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year.

The rationale for starting early includes the necessity of meeting the Michigan-mandated minimum 180 day school year and ensuring maximum preparation time for standardized tests. For students, finishing first semester before rather than after Winter break will help when taking midterm exams. Additionally the schedule change will allow the start of student-athletes’ autumn seasons to coincide with the start of school.

Although summer may be cut short, students will receive time off later in the school year. The first two weeks of school in August will have three day weekends with Fridays off. School will also end the first week rather than the second week of June. There will be no school on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January and Mid Winter break in February will be extended by a day.

While a shorter summer is certainly a disappointment, students can take heart considering that with other adjustments in the schedule they aren’t actually spending more time in school during the 2018-2019 school year.