Post-Labor Day Start for School

By: Beth Shayne
By: Beth Shayne

The Williamston school year began August 24th, but now one month later, that locally-made start date is already out-of-date.

"The kids are excited about it," says Williamston Middle School principal Brian DeRath. Actually, he says, reactions in the district are mixed, if not positive, but mostly, there are questions.

"Do we wanna add days or do we wanna add hours, or minutes to the day?" he asks. "Are kids gonna get home later if they do after-school activities? What time do we get them started? Does it mean less time with their families?"

With just hours to process the new law, Williamston's not alone with their questions. Concerns abound about after-school activities and MEAP tests in particular. The MEAP is given in October, and educators fear they won't have enough time to prepare their students.

"I think there are gonna be unintended consequences," DeRath says.

"Are they gonna have to cut into winter break? Are they gonna have to cut into spring break? Are they gonna have to go further into June?" asks Justin King, director of the Michigan Association of School Boards. Those questions of now his business: It's your school board who will decide how your district meets the new standard.

We spoke with a number of districts in the area Wednesday. None knew what they'll do, except that they'll work to save every precious second at school.

"I just hope in the end we do what's best for kids, for educating kids," says DeRath.


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