The last few weeks of summer are upon us, especially for K-12 students in the Cape Public School District. Next year, though, they’ll have a few extra weeks to squeeze in those final visits to the pool.
According to superintendent Neil Glass, the district will be pushing their start date back as part of a law that takes effect in 2020.
“So the 2020-21 school year calendar won’t allow school districts to start 14 days before the first Tuesday in September,” Glass says. “The main concern there is finishing the first semester by Christmas break.”
In June, State Rep. Kathy Swan of District 147 said the bill had been discussed for three or four years before it had been signed by the governor. She said the law was of interest to students who show animals at the state fair, since they often have to work around the date because of how close it runs up to the start of school.
How to organize the year will be the subject of much discussion, adds Glass, as many school officials worry they may not finish the first semester by Christmas break. Currently, they start a little bit earlier to fit in all of their days, and finish testing prior to the break.
“This legislation may not allow for us to finish the first semester within that time frame,” he says.
Glass says the added time prior to the start of the school year may lead to lower retention among students. While it may cause a few issues, he believes the school will be able to work it out, and hopes the law’s intent of boosting the tourism industry will be successful.
“The school district’s going to a good partner and do their part to accommodate the tourism industry,” he says.
Part of the reason behind the legislature gives more time to working students, he says.