BERNARDS TOWNSHIP, NJ -- Bernards Township schools are looking to ahead at calendars and projected high school graduation dates into 2023.
Superintendent Nick Markarian said a desire to avoid having Ridge High School graduation on a Monday may lead to changing its published school calendar and look to start school before Labor Day in 2020.
The graduation date for this year’s senior class will not be changed. It is scheduled for Thursday, June 18, 2020.
In 2020, Labor Day falls on Sept. 7, the latest possible day for the holiday. That pushes high school graduation into a new week and later than the informal consensus target deadline of June 20, Markarian said.
To move up the graduation while achieving the state-mandated minimum 180 school days, the district might look to start before Labor Day in 2020, he said.
He said he would have to check to see how a graduation date change might affect scheduling at the venue for the school’s Project Graduation party. Typically, most of the senior class is bused to an entertainment center.
The district has a policy that says it will post by any December the school calendar for the next three years. Therefore, the administration is expected to present calendars at the Nov. 25 meeting, with an eye to adoption at the December meeting.
The proposal will include the first look at a 2022-23 calendar. In 2023, graduation is being eyed for a Monday, but there is no opportunity to schedule a day of classes before Labor Day on Sept. 5. At least the 2023 high school graduation date is the 18th, before the customary June 20 cutoff, he said.
The proposal will also include calendar changes to the new three years as a result of a completed negotiated contract agreement with teachers and staff.