Schools heading for July start date

Monroe Roark
Times Correspondent

Henry County students will eventually be starting school in July if the calendar proposed at last week's Board of Education meeting is approved.

The 2017-18 calendar recommended by Superintendent Rodney Bowler was posted for public review and comment and would likely get final approval in the next two months.

If no changes are made, the first day of classes for the 2017-18 school year would be Monday, July 31, 2017. Employees would have pre-planning for one week beginning July 24.

Fall break remains in mid-September, scheduled for Sept. 18-22. There is one professional learning day in October and two in November that give students a four-day weekend.

The standard Thanksgiving week break is in place, and because Christmas falls on a Monday, the last day of class before Christmas break is Friday, Dec. 22. After the two-week break and another professional learning day, students would return to class Tuesday, Jan. 9. The following week would also be a four-day week because the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday is Monday, Jan. 15.

Winter break is Feb. 19-23 but students get some extra time because of a professional learning day Monday, Feb. 26. Spring break is Apr. 2-6.

The last day of class is Friday, May 25, which starts the Memorial Day weekend.

School systems in surrounding counties have started classes during the last few days of July, but this calendar would provide the earliest start date ever for Henry County's public schools.

A school system spokesperson noted that ending the school year before Memorial Day was a key factor, as several families have expressed concerns about that not happening this past year.

“More people prefer getting out before Memorial Day,” he said. “It also gives guests of graduating seniors the opportunity to travel on a three-day weekend [since graduation coincides with the last day of school].”

Despite the July 31 start, the 2017 summer break will be the same length - nine weeks - as it has been in previous years. The 2018 break could be a week longer, depending upon when the next school year starts.

The school board approved the 2016-17 calendar last January, and it calls for classes to start Aug. 1 next year. That calendar can be viewed at