Saline Area Schools officials expect to request a waiver to allow them to start the 2018-2019 year before Labor Day.
Michigan schools have been required by law to start classes after Labor Day since the 2006-2007 school year after legislation, favored by the Michigan tourism industry, was passed. However, schools can apply to the state superintendent's office for a waiver, and a record number of schools have applied for the waiver for the current school year.
"We've talked for years about potentially starting earlier, but the last two years in general, with our construction projects, we've needed every second over the summer," said Supt. Scot Graden at the Oct. 10 meeting of the Saline Area Schools Board of Education. "However, that's not the case this next summer."
Graden clarified that the school system is not looking to create year-round school, but the waiver would allow more flexibility in planning the school calendar
so that, for example, high school students won't have spring final exams conflicting with sporting tryouts.
Graden says a waiver request in the past was rejected, but he said he was going directly to State Supt. Brian Whiston, adding that he'd been told that Whiston is generally more friendly toward granting the waivers than his support staff.
If the request is granted, Whiston said he would like to start the 2018-2019 school year on the Monday before Labor Day, with staff open houses occurring the week before that, and classes concluding around June 10, 2019.
Graden said school officials would try to get the waiver issue settled quickly since it will affect the schedule of students, staff, and parents and may affect how late in August parents can schedule family vacations.