School Comm. Approves ’24–25 School Start Before Labor Day

By Adam Swift

The School Committee approved the school calendar for the 2024-25 school year at its Monday meeting.

In addition, it also set the official date for the last day of school for the current school year.

“The last day of school is now June 12,” said Superintendent of Schools Lisa Howard.

The schools were closed due to inclement weather one day this winter for a predicted snow storm that ended up being predominantly rain.

Howard also reminded parents and students that the spring recess is coming up from April 15-19.

The calendar approved by the committee on Monday night sees students returning to school on Wednesday, August 28. There are also additional half days in the school calendar for 2024-25 for professional development for teachers.

Under the approved school calendar, teachers return on Monday, August 26 and would have two full days of professional development and preparation before students return for a full day on that Wednesday. Everyone would have a full day of school on Thursday and then be off on Friday, August 30 for the four day Labor Day weekend break. Classes would resume with a full day on Tuesday, Sept. 3.

In addition to the extra half-days in the school year, election day would once again be a full day of professional development for teachers in Winthrop and surrounding communities while students have the day off.

Howard said the school building principals were in favor of students coming back to class before Labor Day.

School Committee member Suzanne Leonard said she felt that students coming back before Labor Day gives them more time to acclimate to school for two days before having the Labor Day break.

Committee member and Council President Jim Letterie said he’d like to see a full two-week break in December and January with Christmas falling on a Wednesday this year. The approved calendar has students off from Dec. 23 through the 27, and then returning to school on Thursday, Jan. 2 after New Year’s Day.

Letterie said rearranging the calendar slightly could provide utility savings by having the schools closed for two full weeks, and also give families more time together.

Committee member Gus Martucci said the district had closed for two weeks for the holiday break in the past and that there were noticeable utility savings. While he did not propose that for the 24-25 school year, he said he would like the district to look into the possibility of a two-week break for future school years.

In other business, Howard said the district will be sending out information on a recent Stop and Block presentation for caregivers that the school district held in conjunction with the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office and the police and public health departments.

The presentation is aimed at adults, and focuses on social media and the dangers it presents for children.

“I was blown away by some of the information during the presentation about how to talk to kids,” said Howard. Howard said the information will be sent out to parents in multiple languages and will also give links to ways for caregivers to talk to their children, as well as the types of social media platforms and how caregivers can limit access to them.

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