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Pittsford announces early start for 2020-21 school year

Patrick Moussignac
Created: February 13, 2020 09:37 PM

PITTSFORD, N.Y. (WHEC) — Students in the Pittsford School District will be returning to classes a bit earlier than normal next school year.

In fact, their first day of classes begins on Sept. 2, a full five days before Labor Day. 

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School leaders told News10NBC area schools do have the flexibility of starting earlier than Labor Day if they choose to do so, as long as both students and teachers meet state classroom requirements.

Summer vacation for students in the Pittsford Central School District will end early. The District released a statement saying in part, "After being approved by the Board of Education, the District will start classes early to support our student's well-being by proving off days during long stretches of the school year.”

Some Pittsford parents welcome the news. 

Kimberly Fluet said, "I'll be working with teachers who are getting ready for the city's schools to become in session. So all that time I'll be working with teachers. So my kids are in school. So that's fine."

Others like Jennifer Hearn, think it's a bad idea taking those extra summer days away from the students. 

"It doesn't make sense that they go back to school, and then have a four-day weekend because of the holiday they should just go back a little bit later," Hearn said.

For now, most schools are sticking with traditional post-Labor Day start. Doctor Thomas Putnam is not only the Superintendent of Schools in neighboring Penfield, but he's also a board member of the Monroe County Calendar Committee. 

Putnam says each District has the flexibility to choose their open date as long they meet state classroom requirements. Students must attend at least 180 days of classes, and teachers are required to complete 185 days. Two days are also thrown in for snow days. 

Local schools submit their proposed calendars to this committee for approval.  

"The committee creates a calendar based on the start of the year based on all the state assessments that have to take place, and when the school year ends,” Putnam said.

The early end of summer may affect travel plans for some. 

AAA says Labor Day is not a travel day they normally count, because extra vehicles are already out on the road. 

News10NBC did talk to the travel company's local Communication Specialist, April Engram, who says they see slight differences for Labor Day.

"Having their full week lost will impact some plans for sure. Yes, if you're doing local perhaps a staycation, at least you do have that extended weekend where you can plan something locally. If your ultimate, perhaps, longer distance travel plans may be affected," Engram said.

School district leaders say early starts like this happen about every seven years when Labor Day comes late during September.


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