HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) – The 2023-24 school year for Hanover County Public Schools will begin in August and end in May.

Hanover’s School Board approved a proposal Tuesday to have the 2023-24 year run from Aug. 21, 2023, until May 31, 2024. New teachers must report to schools on Aug. 7, 2023, and the teachers’ work week is from Aug. 14-18, 2023.

The school district received feedback on the pre-Labor Day start from 1,244 people ahead of Tuesday’s meeting, some in support and others opposing the plan.

Respondents in favor said they support the early start because it aligns with neighboring school districts, giving Hanover students similar schedules for athletics and music competitions as those other students, according to Hanover County Public Schools.

Those in support added that a pre-Labor Day opening would support student learning by giving less downtime after SOL testing and more time before Advanced Placement (AP) tests and International Baccalaureate diploma program (IB) exams.

The early start would also help support school employees who live in another district but have to travel to Hanover County and give more “family time for fall student athletes and marching band students,” according to the proposal.

People who opposed starting the school year before Labor Day pointed to the impact on family vacations, asserting that there are “lower prices for rentals in late August” and that the ocean is warmer in August.

According to Hanover County Public Schools, respondents also raised concerns that it’s “too hot for outside recess in August” and the lack of air conditioning on school buses.

The calendar for the next school year has already been approved and is not impacted by the School Board’s decision. Hanover’s 2022-23 school year will be from Sept. 6 until June 15, 2023.

The School Board also approved a proposal to make Juneteenth an employee holiday, which will close all schools and offices on June 20, 2022.

The Virginia General Assembly approved legislation in 2020 to make Juneteenth, which is celebrated annually on June 19 to commemorate the end of slavery in the U.S., a state holiday. President Joe Biden signed a bill last June making Juneteenth a federal holiday. 

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