Henrico considers starting school before Labor Day

Posted at 12:31 PM, Mar 08, 2012
and last updated 2012-03-08 13:00:04-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va (WTVR)  –  Henrico County School administrators believe kids should be going back to school two weeks before Labor Day.

They’ll tell you the students will get a better education because of it.

That’s why they’re trying to do something already proposed and killed in the recent Virginia General Assembly session.

Henrico County School Board members started talking about this just after the Senate Committee on Education and Health voted not to repeal the so-called “Kings Dominion Law” which has public schools starting after Labor Day.

Theme parks like Kings Dominion employ a lot of teenagers.

The law keeps those places open longer during the summer, bringing in more tourist dollars to the state.

Henrico School Board members believe if kids got into school earlier, they’d get an overall better education and get a head start on getting ready for Advanced Placement exams.

They think starting two weeks before Labor Day will also go a long way in helping the district close an achievement gap between the county’s black and white students.

Superintendent Dr. Patrick Russo is recommending the board submit a school calendar waiver for the 2013-2014 school year to the Virginia Department of Education.  He says a lot of the people he’s talking with are behind the idea.

“They like the thought process behind it because of the exams given before the holiday break,” said Dr. Russo.  “I speak to the high school classes, the students.  They’ve very enthusiastic about having that happen so there’s a lot of support out there.”

The Henrico County School Board is holding an open work session today at 1:30 in the auditorium of the New Bridge School on Nine Mile Rd Thursday.

They’re trying to find out more information on how changing the school calendar would affect the system.  They’ll eventually look for input from staff and parents.