Pinellas proposes early August start date for 2016-17 school year
Pinellas County students might start school two weeks earlier next year.
District officials have proposed moving the school start date to Wednesday, August 10, 2016. Instructional staff will report to work on Monday, August 1. This year's start date was Aug. 24.
But starting early means finishing early. Next school year is projected to wrap up on May 25, 2017 for students and Friday, May 26 for staff. This year's last day of school will be June 7.
Dave Richmond, a managing officer in the district's payroll operations, said the shift in the school year would make for a more balanced quarter system. The first quarter, spanning from Aug. 10 to Oct. 11, 2016, has 44 days, and the second quarter from Oct. 13 to Dec. 16 has 42 days. The third and fourth quarters in 2017 each have 47 days.
Superintendent Mike Grego voiced concern over the potential conflict between spring break, March 13-20, and the unknown Florida Standards Assessment testing dates in 2017. There is an option to reschedule spring break.
Richmond said Hillsborough and Manatee counties have similar tentative calendar agreements.
"It’s a benefit to the total Tampa Bay community where students are going back at the same time," Grego said.
Pinellas' calendar committee for the 2016-17 school year is made up of 39 people, including principals, teachers, students, religious representatives and other district officials.