We Asked, You Answered: Do You Think the Pennsylvania School Year Starts Too Early?

A student arrives for class at Upper Darby High School, Wednesday, April 12, 2023, in Drexel Hill, Pa. For some schools, the pandemic allowed experimentation to try new schedules. Large school systems including Denver, Philadelphia and Anchorage, Alaska, have been looking into later start times. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

By The Keystone Staff

August 17, 2023

The academic year kicking off in August is now very much a thing. How do you feel about it?

Once upon a time, the school year began in September in Pennsylvania. Always.

Times have changed. Many of Pennsylvania’s public schools now open the last week of August, with fall sports and certain extracurricular activities beginning several weeks prior.

With the academic year kicking off in August now very much a thing, we asked: do you think the Pennsylvania school year starts too early?

Here’s what your fellow Pennsylvanians had to say about it:

“The school year definitely starts too early. Especially for kids involved in fall activities, like my son, who’s in marching band. They start band practices even earlier.”

Dave J., Tamaqua

“No, the schools do NOT start too early. Kids would be better with a six-week summer and six-week winter break.”

Mary McNulty, Bristol

“I am fine with the (August) start. My daughter is going into 5th grade. She’s fine with it too. Maybe because she doesn’t know any better. Besides, they have two out of the first seven days off.”

Jeff W., Pottstown

“Most of the districts start the school year one week before Labor Day. As a parent, I don’t believe that’s too early, because it provides a period of adjustment for the teachers and students so that after Labor Day, they can get down to business.”

Linda Petrecca, Chester County

“Yes, school starts too early in Pennsylvania! Whatever happened to waiting until after the Labor Day holiday is over for schools to reopen? Families no longer have the option of taking the last week of August for a vacation.”

Wendy Diffendall, Bainbridge

“Yes. The Pennsylvania school year starts too early.”

Meg Vaughan, Pittsburgh

“No. In fact, I think they should give serious consideration to year-round school with elongated winter, spring, and summer breaks. I think students would benefit from it greatly.”

Ernie D’Angelo, Meadville

“Yes, school starts too early. School should start after Labor Day.”

Joseph Mack, Lansdale


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