2017-04-16 / Front Page

Chesaning school board discusses whether school should start earlier

By Jeanne Marcello
Staff Reporter

CHESANING – During the April 10 meeting of the Chesaning Union Schools Board of Education, school board trustee Charles Rolfe asked Superintendent Mike McGough if there was a good time to discuss the possibility of changing the school schedule. He wondered what other board members thought about starting classes before Labor Day.

McGough said, “Now is a good time to discuss it.” He explained according to state law, schools can’t start until after Labor Day. However, some schools have gotten exemptions due to college programs tied to high schools that started before Labor Day. In those cases, school days in August would be Tuesdays through Thursdays; the schools are closed Mondays and Fridays.

Rolfe said, “I’d like to know what we’d like to do.”

School board president Martin Maier responded, “You’d have three days of school?”

Big Rock Elementary School principal Jill Nieman said it’s hard for the youngest children, “They cling to their parents. It’s not a major concern, but it makes the adjustment for little kids more difficult,” Nieman said.

Chesaning High School principal Kim Vincke said, “High school sports start two weeks before school starts [in the fall].”

Athletic Director Bobby Sager informed everyone the first football game of the season this fall is Aug. 23.

Chesaning Middle School principal Melinda Soule said, “Other than Jill’s issue, it’s nice to ease in.”

School board secretary Becky Butcher said, “I get complaints from parents who say their kids have to be here for sports. So, they can’t go anywhere. Then they don’t get out until the middle of June. It’s like the summer gets shorter and shorter.”

Rolfe suggested the school district apply to the state for starting early and give it a try.

McGough said he’s already received numerous calls asking when school starts this fall.

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