BERNARDS TOWNSHIP, NJ -- Bernards Township students will report to school before Labor Day next September, if a revised calendar is adopted as proposed.

The change will allow end-of-the-year graduation dates to be moved up and the last day for the term to come on Friday, June 18, 2021. Graduation ceremonies for both Ridge High School and William Annin Middle School will be moved up four days.

The Board of Education has introduced changes to its 2020-21 and 2021-22 calendars and proposed a 2022-23 calendar that includes a day off for the Hindu holiday of Diwali on Monday, Oct. 24.

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All three years’ calendars should be discussed and voted on at the Dec. 16 meeting, which will be held at Cedar Hill School.

There are no changes to the calendar for the remainder of the current school year. High school graduation remains Thursday, June 18, 2020, and middle school graduation is Wednesday, June 17.

The district is looking to avoid a Ridge High graduation ceremony on the relatively late date of Tuesday, June 22, 2021, as currently scheduled, Superintendent Nick Markarian said at the Nov. 22 Board of Education meeting.

In 2020, Labor Day falls on Sept. 7, the latest possible day for the holiday. That pushes high school graduation to 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 now proposes to have students report on Thursday, Sept. 3. Schools would be closed on Friday and Labor Day and start again on Tuesday, Sept. 8.

The district has a policy that says it will post by any December the school calendar for the next three years. The board presented calendars at the Nov. 25 meeting, with an eye to adoption in December.

The proposal will include the first look at a 2022-23 calendar. In 2023, graduation is being eyed for Monday, June 19, 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 comes before the June 20 cutoff, Markarian said.

Other highlights of the next three years’ calendars, as proposed:

In 2020-21:

    A third day (Wednesday, Feb. 17) is added to the winter recess, unless it is needed to be made up because of weather cancellations.

    The Memorial Day weekend holiday will be Friday through Tuesday, May 28-June 1, unless the district needs to make up a day lost to bad winter weather. Tuesday would then be a school day.

    The last day for students is moved up to Friday, June 18, from the currently scheduled Tuesday, June 22. The last day for staff is moved up one day to Monday, June 21.

In 2021-22:

    School starts for students on Tuesday, Sept. 7.

    There is a three-day mid-winter recess from Monday to Wednesday, Feb. 21-23.

    The Memorial Day weekend break for students would be from Friday through Tuesday, May 27-31. If a makeup day is needed, students would report May 31.

    Graduation for both the middle and high schools are moved up one day, to Thursday, June 16, for the middle school and Friday, June 17, for the high school.

    The end of school would be moved up one day to Friday, June 17, for students and Monday, June 20, for staff.

In 2022-23, the calendar shows:

    School starts for students on Tuesday, Sept. 6.

    The Diwali holiday is Monday, Oct. 24.

    There is a three-day recess from Feb. 20-22, with the possibility of Feb. 22 being used as a makeup day.

    The Memorial Day break would run from Friday through Tuesday, unless a makeup day is needed.

    Middle school graduation is Friday, June 16, and high school graduation is Monday, June 19.