The Olentangy School District is considering an Aug. 17 start to the 2016-17 school year, but some parents would prefer a later starting date so their children can enjoy the summer.
“We understand that (starting) after Labor Day is pretty outdated,” said Shyra Eichhorn at an Olentangy Board of Education meeting Thursday, the day after the start of the 2015-16 school year. “I think ideally we were looking for Aug. 24.”
Eichhorn said parents in the district had heard rumors of school starting on Aug. 8 next year, and were upset about children not having as much time to enjoy summer activities.
“We not only expect our children to thrive academically, but we also want them to be well-rounded,” she said. “We feel the current schedule is hurting it.”
A Facebook page called “Olentangy: Take Back Summer” was recently established “to see a change in the school calendar in regard to summer break. … As the calendar now stands, summer break begins in mid-May, before Memorial Day, and ends in early August.”
The page’s supporters wish to start summer break on the first or second week of June and end either the last week of August or the Tuesday after Labor Day.
The “Take Back Summer” page said the school-year end date is still in the spring, while the weather is cooler and before the summer camps start and swimming pools open. It also said that with spring and fall sports taking place in June and August, the window for taking family summer vacations has shrunk.
Board members noted that Olentangy’s 2015-16 start date of Aug. 12 was the same as the other districts in the county, and similar to other districts in central Ohio and across the state. Only a couple of districts in the Dayton area started after Labor Day.
Randy Wright, chief of administrative services, presented a draft calendar for the 2016-17 school year to the board. The first day of school would be Aug. 17, with winter break on Dec. 22-Jan. 3, spring break March 20-24, and the last day of school May 24. Wright said the calendar would allow the students to take exams before the breaks.
The district’s website — http://www.olentangy.k12.oh.us — has a link to the calendar. It notes the school start date had been the second Tuesday in August for three straight school years.
Wright said the community can offer their comments on the 2016-17 calendar draft for 30 days. After the comment period, the board will make a decision on the final calendar for the 2016-17 school year.