Is it just me, or did we always start the Maine school year after Labor Day when we were kids? To be fair, my memory isn't the best so I could be totally wrong on this, but I don't think I am.

Well, thanks to the creative idea of one Central Maine school administrator, some Maine schools will officially start their school year after Labor Day is over.

According to the Kennebec Journal, Gardiner-area Superintendent Patricia Hopkins pitched the idea in January 2024.

Now, the concept has been adopted by the Kennebec-Intra Region Schools. That means the majority of public school kids in the Central Maine area will be getting a little extra time off this summer, but check your particular school calendar just to be sure.

Of course, this move does draw some concern, especially over snow days. Concern has grown that if schools use their one allotted snow day next year, which is, of course, super-likely, it could push the school year past the Juneteenth holiday.

If that happens, it could cost the schools big time by "triggering the possibility the district would be obligated to $18,000 in holiday pay for education technicians working the week of Juneteenth, based on their union contract," the Kennebec Journal said.

On the flip side, starting the school year a week later will allow schools to get teacher workshop days in early and not have to do them sporadically throughout the year.

Hopkins told the KJ about the change,

“I feel like we have a system in place where we can revisit it and absolutely use (remote days) to limit the number of snow days we have in the future.”

Hopkins also said at MSAD 11’s recent board meeting, according to the KJ, that if it doesn't work they can always revisit the plan, "but I hope that front-loading some workshop days will be so much more helpful for staff to begin the school year with less stress.”

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Gallery Credit: Chris Sedenka

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