Detroit Public Schools Community District to vote on pre-labor day start for students, staff

Posted at 6:14 AM, May 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-10 10:24:17-04

DETROIT, MI (WXYZ) — Detroit public schools may have their summer cut short this year because some Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) board members are proposing a pre-labor day start date for students and staff.

Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti says the date change gives the district a chance to boost student enrollment.

Higher enrollment means more funding for the district and Vitti believes an earlier start date would give the district more time to recruit students before count day on October 30.

Vitti attempted a similar change in 2019 but butted heads with the teacher's union.

The calendar change was presented to the school board's finance committee last month.

The tentative start date for schools would be August 29. Students would then finish the school year around the third week of June.

"It's a good idea because of the pandemic," one parent said. "They've been out for so long so I think it's good that they should come back to school a week early."

"Send them kids back to school a week early," another parent said. "Let them get 7 days more of education, you know what I'm saying? And keep it moving."

Vitti says ending the school year early can be great for students, especially as the weather warms up.

"65 percent of our buildings do not have any air conditioning. It can get uncomfortable in late May and obviously June," Vitti said.

Some think students won't show up on the earlier start date, but Vitti believes it will equal out because attendance usually suffers towards the end of the year.

"To me, it will put kids on a different level where they should be going to school and it's giving them more encouragement instead of waiting after the labor day holiday," the superintendent said.

For this change to happen it has to have the support of the entire school board. If that happens Vitti says the district will work with the federation of teachers if they have concerns.