Most NJ schools starting before Labor Day
Most kids in New Jersey are headed back to school before the unofficial end of summer.
Typically, schools begin classes after Labor Day, but since it falls on the latest possible date this year, Sept. 7, the majority of schools are inviting students ahead of the long weekend.
In a just-released survey from the New Jersey School Boards Association, more than 40 percent of respondents said classes are starting earlier this year. More than half of the districts in the state, the survey found, will begin before Labor Day.
An overwhelming majority of respondents, more than 84 percent, said Labor Day was a factor in determining a start date.
"Other factors include a desire to end school before the real dog days of summer kick in," said Frank Belluscio, NJSBA's deputy executive director. "June can be a very hot month in New Jersey, and there is a reluctance to have to keep school open too late in the month."
Schools must hold 180 days of instruction each year.
The North Hunterdon-Voorhees Regional High School District is in its 10th year of starting classes in August.
The district's Maren Smagala said the move was made, in part, to allot for as much instructional time as possible before state testing in the spring.
"We just feel like it's actually helped our students with more class time, more instructional time, to prepare for some of the high-stakes testing," she said.
In addition, students get a head start on finding summer employment in June.
The NJSBA noted some districts are forced to begin in September instead of August due to teacher contracts.
Here's a sample of districts' start dates throughout New Jersey:
- Township of Ocean School District - Sept. 3
- Edison Township Public Schools - Sept. 2
- North Hunterdon-Voorhees Regional High School District - Aug. 27
- Freehold Regional High School District - Sept. 8
- Atlantic City School District - Sept. 3
- Monroe Township School District - Sept. 3
- Hamilton Township School District (Mercer County) - Sept. 2
- Mount Holly Township Public School District - Sept. 8
- Somerset Hills School District - Sept. 9
- Sayreville Public Schools - Sept. 3