General Question

Aethelwine's avatar

Why do some schools start the new year before Labor Day?

Asked by Aethelwine (41394points) August 5th, 2009 from iPhone

My children start school in two weeks on August 19th. It seems that each year it starts earlier. When I grew up school started the day after Labor Day. August 19th just seems so early to me. It’s usually our hottest part of the summer and the school ends up on a heat schedule anyways.

I know that not all communities start so soon. Schools where we vacation start school the day after Labor Day. We usually vacation in Wisconsin at the end of August because it is their slow season and prices are slashed dramatically. Our sons have had to miss a week of school each year so we can vacation when it’s more affordable.

Do your schools start this early or do they start after Labor Day? Are they year round? How do you prefer the schedule?

If you live in a country other than the U.S. I would love to know how your community schedules its school year.

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17 Answers

kenmc's avatar

Bureaucratic BS.

Most of my school years were similar to how it was with your children. Around my junior year in HS, the law was changed so school would start after the Labor Day weekend to save money.

Blondesjon's avatar

Because they hate children and they hate children having fun, even more.

Ivan's avatar

The school year is exactly the same length no matter when you start. So if you start early, that just means you finish early.

casheroo's avatar

It always seemed to be earlier and earlier, but never mid August!
We usually started the week before Labor Day, only in school for a day or two, then we’d have off a long weekend and back to school we went. It never made sense to me.

galileogirl's avatar

In our district they are trying to align the public school year with the colleges which start their Fall semester. There are several reasons for coordinating HS/community college/university. College summer school generally starts the 2nd week in June-HS graduation week. There are HS programs in which college students must participate. We are one of the schools in our district that will train student teachers. We have had some unhappy situations where a student teacher graduates the second week in May, leaving that class in the lurch. As we move the opening into August, we will move the closing into May.

This was strictly a top down decision and we in the classrooms were not asked for any input. It may be a good thing, it may not. They usually don’t take into account the ripples through the community like how is it going to affect community summer programs like YMCA camps and summer job programs that may not be ready to start early next summer.

Sarcasm's avatar

I don’t remember exactly when I’ve gone back to school every year, but I don’t recall ever going back in September, always mid/late August. This year, it’s the 24th.

Doesn’t matter to me too much when school starts back up. Seems like the summer heat has already peaked and is going down a bit now, by the 24th it should be moderate in temperature. I always hated getting drenched in sweat walking to my classes (Last summer, I took a Speech class. It was awful being in a classroom that was 80+ degrees, sweating, giving a speech to a harsh-grading teacher).

jamielynn2328's avatar

Oh my gosh, I just checked my kids school out because I was curious and they also start before Labor Day this year. That is so ridiculous. We already have camping plans for that weekend. Guess we’ll be leaving a bit later on Friday than expected.

I never started school (until college) before Labor Day and neither have my children.

YARNLADY's avatar

Wach school district decides what the exact school year is going to be based on the local considerations such as how many children are expected, what is the best way to interface with other schools, what is the budget going to be, and what is the latest contract with the teachers. Every resident of the school district has the right and obligation to become a part of the process by attending the planning meetings and working on the committees.

If you aren’t part of the process, you don’t have much of a reason to complain when other people don’t do it your way.

theabk's avatar

I grew up in an area with a massive tourist influx in the summer, which more or less ended at Labor Day. School always started after Labor Day, and I believe this was because businesses relied so much on high school students working for them during the tourist season that it would have been impractical for the community if school started before Labor Day. Perhaps other schools used to start after Labor Day for similar reasons (kids working in the fields, etc.), but now that this is not an issue in most areas they are making the start date earlier. Just a theory.

YARNLADY's avatar

@YARNLADY Edit above: Wach should be Each

Garebo's avatar

Just to annoy you, but next spring, just think they get out earlier, so you can all enjoy the cold and rain.

FlutherMother's avatar

Here in chandler, we have what is called “year round schooling”. It may not seem like it but my kids go the same number of days as those starting after Labor Day. We just have our year split into 4 9-week long sessions. Each session has a two week break in between (with and 8 week break for the Summer). While I don’t speak for all parents and kids here, the ones that I know love it. The Summer is just long enough and when the kids start to get bored, they go to school. And when they start to get sick of school – two week breather! And it is so hot here (114 degrees the other day) that being in an air conditioned school is much better than being home whining about it being to hot to ride bikes or play basketball. They started on July 27th too!

kheredia's avatar

I think kids get too much vacation. The earlier they start, the better for them.

DominicX's avatar

School always started at the end of August for me. I think kindergarten started after Labor Day (that was 1996) and after that it was never the same. My birthday is August 24th and I know that’s been the first day of school before, and the second, and the third, and it did seem to get earlier each year. Last year it started on the 21st and got out on June 4th and now it’s even earlier for my brother. Thank God I’m done with that shit. :)

I prefer it starting no earlier than August 21st. That would be nice. But somehow I don’t think we’re going to be seeing too much of that around here. @Sarcasm Yay, that’s my birthday! Think of me.


It’s what @Ivan said. If they start earlier, they get out earlier. It’s still the same amount of school days.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Ivan duh. I know that much. It doesn’t answer my question though.

@all Thank you for your responses. @YARNLADY made a great point about getting involved in school board meetings. Unfortunately if anything were to be changed it would be after my children finished school.

@theabk That explains why northern Wisconsin starts after Labor Day. They rely on the tourists for income during the summer.

@MissAusten follow the light :)

Strauss's avatar

I have always been used to school starting around Labor Day, give or take a week. Imagine my surprise when my daughter’s 4th grade classes started yesterday (August 5).

JLeslie's avatar

I think way back in the day school started after labor day for after the harvest. Children helped on the farm, so as to not force a choice on farming families and the obligations of the children, the school year started late. I went to college at Michigan State University years ago :) and we used to start around September 20, I have to think this was a hold over, knowing that Michigan State U. was originally Michigan Agricultural College, and you might know our nick name is Moo U. Now, from what I understand Michigan public schools continue to start after Labor Day for tourist season purposes as sited above for other states.

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