Summer ends earlier for students next year |

Summer ends earlier for students next year

SUMMIT COUNTY – Summer vacation will end a little early next year.Summit School Board adopted a 2005-2006 school calendar Wednesday, giving the nod to a pre-Labor Day start date. Students will begin classes Aug. 31 – the Wednesday before the holiday weekend – and their final day will be June 7.Next year’s calendar contains 174 school days, as does the current school year’s.The earlier start date will allow students more adjustment time as they head back to classrooms, since they’ll begin with a three-day week, followed by a four-day week.”It would be a gradual start for students – a nice way to ease back in from summer vacation into the academic learning year,” said Summit Middle School principal Iva Katz-Hesse, chair of the district’s calendar committee.The shift also helps high school and middle school administrators balance the number of days in the spring and fall semesters.”And then, the earlier we start, the more time we have to prepare for assessments we’re so critically evaluated on, like CSAP,” Katz-Hesse said.

Students will have three days off for Thanksgiving, 10 days off in December for winter break and five days off in April.Katz-Hesse said her committee has gotten mixed reviews about holding the first day of school in August.”It doesn’t matter to me at all, as long as they have the same number of days in the schedule,” said Copper resident Amy Gowins, whose son is a second-grader at Frisco Elementary.The district has started classes before Labor Day in the past, but not in recent years.The calendar committee is proposing an additional four staff training days (which would not affect the dates of student school days), but the board will wait to sign off on the idea until teacher contract negotiations are complete.Katz-Hesse will reconvene her committee in January to begin the work of creating future calendars, which have the potential to contain more drastic changes than next year’s.”We want to look at everything out there to see if there’s something we can do to support and enhance learning. We’re really going to look at some creative things,” Katz-Hesse said.Her committee’s work will include examining recent research on school calendar issues and results from school districts that have adopted alternatives to the traditional school calendar.”Future calendars may look quite different, based on this research and study,” said superintendent Millie Hamner. “We look forward to much community involvement as we develop a school calendar that truly meets the needs of our children.”Julie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or at

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