The Aug. 14 start date ensures testing will end before winter break.
Sarasota schools are getting a head start this year, literally.
Schools will begin Aug. 14, a week earlier than the 2016-2017 school year, and will get out of school two weeks sooner, the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend.
One of the main goals of the schedule shift was to end the fall semester before winter break began, according to Executive Director of Human Resources and Labor Relations for the School Board Roy Sprinkle.
“Unfortunately, because of the state making us start later, winter break would occur so students had to study all break for their finals,” Sprinkle said, “or, worst-case scenario, not study at all, come back and fail them.”
But now the state has changed its regulations, and districts can set their own start dates again. This year, the Sarasota County Public Schools is more on par with the rest of the state, Sprinkle said, after being one of only three schools that did not move back its start date last school year.
Parents, teachers and administrators were all in favor of the change, Sprinkle said. Especially teachers, who said students lose focus when they’re in school after testing ends.
Now, the semester and all its testing will end before winter break begins on Dec. 22, and school will start again Jan. 8. Spring break will be the week of March 26, and the school year will end for students on May 24.
Find the full calendar online here.