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New start date for Brandywine School District this year

Delaware Public Media

The Brandywine School District switched its start date this year from before to after Labor Day.

The decision of when to begin the school year is entirely up to individual school districts so long as students meet the required amount instructional hours.

For various reasons, some First State schools choose to start classes before Labor Day while some start after. For example, some schools in agricultural areas start after Labor Day so students can continue summer work for another week.

Ralph Ackerman is President of the Brandywine School District Board of Education. He says Brandywine decided to switch back to a post-Labor Day start because of standardized testing changes.

“Several years ago Delaware had a different testing regime than we have now. And with the new Smarter Balance testing the need to test earlier, as we did in the past, is not as apparent with the current test,” said Ackerman.

Ackerman adds the new Smarter Balance exams can be administered more quickly than previous exams.

He also says Brandywine schools have got their start before Labor Day for at least the past five years. And that the district reached out through the proper channels before making the switch.

“We reached out to our community through discussion at board meetings, our Brandywine School District Facebook page, through the North Wilmington Mom Facebook Group to get a pulse of the community as well as a pulse of the board members,” said Ackerman.

Ackerman says the majority of parents, teachers and students who voiced their opinions said they prefer starting after Labor Day.