Students will be back before Labor Day

All school districts within MOISD to begin classes prior to last holiday of the summer

MECOSTA COUNTY — Students from all schools within the Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District will return to their buildings prior to Labor Day, with one district starting a few days earlier than the others.

Like last year, the MOISD submitted a waiver to the Michigan Department of Education requesting to begin the school year before Labor Day. In May, the MOISD received official notice its request was granted, said MOISD Superintendent Curtis Finch.

“Last year there was some delay, but we ended up getting the waiver for one year,” Finch said. “This year, we applied and got the exemption for this year, plus the following two years, so we don’t have to fill out the paperwork again for a few more years.”

All six districts within the MOISD have decided to start the school year before Labor Day. Big Rapids Public Schools, Chippewa Hills School District, Morley Stanwood Community Schools, Reed City Area Public Schools and Crossroads Charter Academy will each begin on Monday, Aug. 29. CCA will have a full day of classes, while the other districts have half days scheduled.

However, Evart Public Schools will be a little ahead of the rest of the districts, kicking off the first day back from summer break on Thursday, Aug. 25.

Evart students will have a half day on both the first and second days of classes, said EPS Superintendent Shirley Howard.

One of the benefits of starting the school year earlier is the possibility of ending the year earlier, barring an extreme amount of snow days, she said.

“We want to try to get done before the first full week in June, so we did some shuffling and this is how it worked out,” Howard said. “We also feel our kids are ready to come back in August. There is a home football game on Aug. 26, and by end of year they are ready to be done, so why not try to get them out earlier in the summer?”

As was the case last year, the MOISD’s request for a waiver was based on offering dual enrollment and early college programs.

“The whole premise behind our request is it’s not fair for our dual-enrollment and early college students to provide their own transportation to these colleges where they take classes,” Finch said. “If we can’t start until after Labor Day but colleges start before, it’s an issue. A disadvantaged rural student may not be able to get to those classes without the transportation provided by the MOISD.”

While all the schools in the MOISD will begin before Labor Day, students and families will still enjoy the holiday weekend, Finch said.

“Everyone still gets the Friday before the weekend and Labor Day off, so they will get their four-day weekend,” he said.