BURLINGTON – A Sept. 7 Labor Day forced the School Committee to approve a start date for students on Monday, Aug. 31.

School Supt. Dr. Eric Conti asked the committee to formally vote on the aforementioned start date because parents persistently inquired about the first day of school next year, likely because of scheduled summer vacations they wanted to plan around.

Labor Day in 2020 is the latest it can possible be on Monday, Sept. 7. If school officials conducted school calendar business as usual and students started the day after Labor Day, then the first day of school would be Tuesday, Sept. 8 and the last day of school would be Wednesday, June 30. This is a school calendar that the committee wants to avoid.

“It is an atypical year for us, but my recommendation is to have students start Aug. 31,” requested Dr. Conti.

The students would remain in school from Sept. 1-3 and then have Friday, Sept. 4 and Monday, Sept. 7 off. Kindergarten and preschool would begin on Tuesday, Sept. 8.

“I will work with the teachers on the other dates in the middle of the school year,” assured Dr. Conti. “For now, it is all about the start and end dates for students.”

School Committee member Thomas Murphy, Jr. announced his support for the Aug. 31 start date.

“I do not have a problem with it. It is not new ground,” professed Murphy. “We have started before Labor Day in the past. By that time of year, people will be ready to get back to work and school. It is not a happy occasion staying in school until June 30.”

The rest of the committee members echoed Murphy’s sentiments, leading to a 4-0 approval of the start and end dates for the 2020/2021 school year. Committee member Kristin Russo was absent from the meeting.

Dr. Conti reiterated that he still has “work to do” in the middle portion of the calendar, which he will work collaboratively with the teachers on.

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