Parents Decide When Kids Start School

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January 17, 2006
Parents will get to decide when their kids go back to school. Columbia County will send out surveys after getting a number of complaints about this year's early start date of August 3rd. But some educators think a later date could mean lower scores.

Harlem High sophomore Robert Schuster doesn't see what all the fuss is about.

"I’d rather go early and get school over with faster," Schuster said.

This year, his "freedom" begins May 19th, the last day of the spring semester. But parent Lynn Gilmore thinks that freedom should come a little later.

"It makes a lot of sense to change to a traditional calendar," Gilmore said.

A group of parents asked Superintendent Tommy Price to let parents use a survey to decide.

"It’s got a full spectrum of what we think are realistic possibilities for the school year," Price said.

Possibilities that could mean the new school year would begin anywhere from early to late august.

Parents in Columbia County will get three different start dates to vote on. But, the principal at Harlem High School says he likes the calendar just the way it is.

Principal Alan Griffin says exams should happen before the holidays, which is just the way they do now.

"If our students have to come back after a three week lull and take exams, that doesn't help them academically," Griffin said.

Robert Schuster has a slightly different goal in mind.

"We’re gonna be graduating early," Schuster said.

Parents will get a chance to fill out the survey from February 12-26. They can get it at school or online. The final decision will come in March.

You can log onto Columbia County's website at Remember, the surveys won't be out until February.