Rockford Public Schools to start before Labor Day

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ROCKFORD, Mich. – Rockford Public Schools will be back in session before Labor Day for the next few years.RPS classes are slated to begin with an Aug. 29 start this year.

State law requires public schools to begin each school year after Labor Day to benefit Michigan tourism, but Rockford Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Mike Shibler said the district has been working with the state the last four years for a waiver. He said the waiver was approved last week.

This waiver stems from the requirement from the Michigan Department of Education that districts increase their instructional days from 175 to 180 days beginning with the 2016-2017 school year.

Some families are apparently protesting. “We’re giving them, what, several months advanced notice and so forth,” said Dr. Shibler. “But at the same time, we’ll accommodate parents that want to go on vacation that last week.”

Dr. Shibler also told FOX 17 the district is looking into a so-called "balanced calendar" where students would go to school 45 days followed by 15 days off, then repeat this cycle year-round.

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  • A Rockford Parent

    Go for it. You will not be seeing my kids until after Labor Day though, and I will make a point of keeping them at home for “count days” as well.

    This may come as a surprise to most school districts, but you do not work for the state or federal governments, you work for the parents of the children whom you teach! Perhaps the increased support you seek would come from treating your employers like your livelihood depends on them, because it does. Rockford is a fairly well off area financially, do you really think that people won’t abandon RPS for charters and privates if RPS starts playing the same ineffectual and counter-productive games that every other public school system is playing?

    The point here is that we (the parents) have a choice. We are not willing to turn that choice over to the government, through the spineless actions of the RPS. We would rather forego state and federal funding, and keep the decision making here with us in conjunction with our teachers. We would rather pay for our own school system and not be bound by governmental over-regulation and influence. We love our children too much to jeopardize them that way, and we have that much faith in the ability of our teachers.

    • Vickie

      I could not agree more! Every time the government has gotten involved with any business it has succeeded only in ruining that business, whether it has been oil, education, airlines, prisons, banking, you name it. All it does is install regulations that are inapplicable, vague, unenforceable, undoable, counterproductive, or crippling to another area of life, without any review process or control. The businesses are then left to implement these rules or shut their doors. So they implement them, passing down the fallout to the customer. When it becomes unbearable for the customer they abandon the business in favor of private enterprises which do not have the albatross of government connection around their necks and can actually therefore provide what the customer wants at an affordable price.

      Perhaps that is why the Constitution pretty explicitly attempts to keep the government out of the business world. Maybe they actually foresaw why that was a bad idea. Too bad our government has sold off the Constitution, or at least declared itself above it. Too bad we are living in a dictatorship instead of a democracy. But at least we still have the option of privatizing education. At least we don’t have to subject out kids to altered history or make them conform to the lowest common (core) denominator in order to insure that no child gets hurt feelings for being less intelligent than average. Rockford Public Schools may be required to play these games, but we parents are not. We have other options, and we will most certainly use them!

    • oranjepants

      I’m impressed with your passion as a parent and respect your views on local control (I agree)! I’m disappointed in hearing about keeping them home on ‘count days’ as that impacts the teachers and students directly via the funding attached to it. You do have a choice which it appears you know will deeply affect the others in your community.

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