Updated: School District Administration Suggests Sept. 20 Start For 2018-19 School Year

Schools Superintendent John Ravally told parents that the late start date for the 2018-19 school year is necessary to ensure all of the “One Less Move” changes are in place. (File photo).

Update: The Board of Education adopted the proposed 2018-19 schedule that sets September 20 as the first day of school.

Two parents spoke against the late start, saying it would be an inconvenience for parents, and that it would interfere with fall sports practices.

Schools Superintendent John Ravally said the district is looking at ways to alleviate any hardships for student athletes, including the possibility of a shuttle.

The board also approved the 2019-2020 school year calendar, which sets Sept. 5, 2019 as the first day for students.

Original Story: Township students will once again get some extra summer vacation this year if the district administration’s suggestion to start the 2018-19 year on Sept. 20 is accepted.

If the Board of Education does so, this would be the second consecutive year that district schools have started a school year later than usual, both instances due to the “One Less Move” referendum projects.

“One Less Move” projects include the construction of a new elementary school, renovations to the other elementary schools, the creation of a second middle school at Sampson G. Smith School, but an overall redistricting.

The announcement of the proposed later school year start was made at the district’s Jan. 22 Middle School Program Town Hall Meeting at Franklin High School.

Parents in attendance gasped at the news, but schools Superintendent John Ravally quickly sought to allay their concerns.

He told the parents in the school auditorium that the extra time was needed to prepare the district for all the changes that will kick in once next school year starts.

The later date, he said, “maximizes the summer. We don’t anticipate missing out mark of August for (completion of the new Claremont Road School,) but you have to remember, which was our intention all the time, we have to also deal with furnishing the school, getting our teachers in the school” and other school-opening activities.

The school year will still end at the end of June, he said.

To make that happen, only one snow day will be allocated, he said. Any more snow days will be taken from the spring break time.

Ravally said this was the “only direction” that he could see the district following next school year.

“We made (the calendar committee) understand what goes into opening a new school, plus redistricting, rezoning and all those wonderful things we’ve been planning,” he said.  “We’ll still make our 180 days, we’ll still do all the things we want to do.”

One other thing the district will do is have another summer camp, Ravally said.

“Last year, having  a look at what was to come, we anticipated maybe having to have an extra week, which is why we tried the summer camp last year,” he said.

“This will hopefully be the last year of having to do that,” he said.


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