Urbana isn’t the first Champaign County School to start late due to school construction. In 2016, West Liberty Salem Schools started late as crews finished up an addition on their high school.
This year, West Liberty-Salem will start school on Sept. 4.
Most students in the Springfield City School district will go back on Aug. 15. High school students in grades 10 through twelve will start on Aug. 16.
Students in Tecumseh Local Schools will start classes on Aug. 15.
RELATED: Some schools push back against early start
School start dates have held steady for the past several years, Jay Smith, deputy director of legislative services at the Ohio School Board Association, said. Most school districts start the year around mid-August. Smith said people often say schools start early to get a head start on teaching to score better on standardized tests, but many school districts he hears from start mid-August so schools can complete the first semester before winter break.
“They’re trying to get through that first semester so that kids aren’t leaving for two weeks and then coming out and taking exams,” he said.
Two bills in the state legislature would mandate schools to start after Labor Day. Proponents say postponing school until after Labor Day would better supply the tourism industry with students for summer jobs. Smith said districts already seek out community feedback when they develop calendars, and local districts are best suited to identify the needs of their students.
RELATED: Bill would push Ohio schools to open after labor day
“We just see this as another state mandate that seeks to take away local control and local authority from our local boards of education,” Smith said. “We just believe that there’s already plenty of flexibility.”
Staff writer Parker Perry and Jenna Lawson contributed to this article.
Earliest starts: Some schools in Ohio started classes Wednesday, Aug. 8 .
Busiest week: Many local school districts start classes Aug. 13-17.
After Labor Day: West Liberty-Salem starts Sept. 4, and Urbana begins Sept. 11.