Record number of schools starting before Labor Day

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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Summer vacation is officially over for some Mid-Michigan students who went back to school for the first day Monday.

This year 123 school districts across the state will head back before Labor Day. That's a record high number requesting early start waivers from the state.

Losing days at the end of summer is part of a tradeoff, as of last year the state requires schools to have at least 180 days of instruction time. Most districts are either adding days at the end of the year or getting a waiver to start before Labor Day.

At the Ingham Intermediate School District Superintendent Scott Koenigsknecht sees more schools opting for early starts.
Of the ISD's 12 districts, 10 are going back before Labor Day, with Lansing and East Lansing the exceptions.

"I really don't feel that it cuts into summer vacation all that much," Koenigsknecht said. "A lot of the students are back on the campus already with band and with athletics."

Plus Koenigsknecht says shortening summer vacation, even if it's just by a couple weeks can help prevent kids from forgetting what they learned the year before.

"The longer a kid is out of school the more learning loss occurs," Koenigsknecht explained. "There's a great deal of time in the first 4 to 6 weeks where teachers are just trying to get students back on track."

Some state lawmakers want to make it so schools can start before Labor Day without requiring the state's approval. That same proposed legislation would make it so if schools are back in August they wouldn't be allowed to hold classes on Mondays or Fridays.