South Kitsap Schools’ Post-Labor Day Start a “Tradition”September 3rd, 2010 by Chris Henry
Ah, the first day of school: the smell of new pencils, the look
of new clothes carefully chosen, the sound of eager voices,
children ready to hit the books for another year.
But wait, one district was missing.
On Wednesday, as students in North Mason and all other Kitsap County schools returned to the classroom, students in South Kitsap School District continued with their summertime sloth and frivolity.
At least the kids in my neighborhood could be seen soaking up those precious last dabs of summer sunshine, getting in the last few games of basketball, a last bike ride. Some I know personally took the opportunity to sleep in until all hours, before the rude shock to their systems of having to make the bus in the cold, gray dawn.
I called Greg Roberts, assistant superintendent of personnel, to ask why South Kitsap schools resume Sept. 8, a week later than other districts.
“For years, South Kitsap has always started after Labor Day, so there’s a tradition on that,” Roberts said.
On the calendar, Labor Day cycles year by year farther into the month before jumping back to near the beginning, Roberts said. This year, the difference in start time between schools that start before Labor Day and after is more pronounced.
Families in South Kitsap have told district officials that they like having the extra time at the end of the summer, Roberts said. And really, if you think about it, the other districts will be just getting up a small head of steam, when wham, there’s a three-day weekend.
The decision has nothing to do with the South Kitsap Education Association, the teachers’ union, which recently ratified a new three-year contract with the district. Teachers have the right to bargain for starting before Labor Day, but it’s never come up in Roberts’ memory.
South Kitsap’s late start does not mean that students get fewer days of schooling, Roberts said. South Kitsap compresses its 180 student days over nine months so that the last day of school, June 15, is within a day or two of most other school districts in the area.
So, to all Kitsap and North Mason students and their families, enjoy this Labor Day, and as you bid adieu to summer, stay safe, have fun and make memories to carry you through the winter.