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Jackson county asks for early start date

Posted: 4:26 PM, Feb 12, 2016
Updated: 2016-02-12 16:26:32-05

Every Summer, Doreen Scholl takes her six-year-old on a Pure Michigan vacation.

"Michigan's good weather is only part of June, July and August," said Scholl. "We go camping, we go hiking, we bike, we go to the lakeshore, we swim, we spend a lot of times outside."

Time she's afraid she won't have enough of if Jackson County schools start class before Labor day.

"With the school starting two weeks earlier, I feel like it's cutting into our summer vacation," said Scholl.

But starting next school year, the state is requiring 1098 hours of class and at least 180 days of school.

"The research shows that just adding minutes to a day doesn't do the same or have the same impact on students now comes as it does when you add days to the calendar," said Kyle Guerrant with the Department of Education.

"If we don't take those additional days in June or August, where do they come from?" asked Western School District Superintendent Michael Smajda. "You know you're talking do you cut back your Spring Break, do you cut back Christmas break, do you go to school the Wednesday before Thanksgiving?"

Or do you start class before Labor Day?

"Kids are excited about school in August," said Smajda. "When you hit late May and June, they're excited about getting out of school."

Plus there's the educational benefits too.

"Match up our calendar with the universities and colleges," said Smajda. "A lot of our kids are having opportunities to take enrollment classes."

And end the semester by taking finals before Christmas break.

"It is about the kids," said Smajda. "That's the decision."

Something even disappointed parents can agree with.

"Education is very important," said Scholl.