Brandywine Community Schools announce pre-Labor Day start

NILES — Brandywine Community Schools announced Tuesday the 2020-2021 school year will start earlier than in the past. The schools will begin on Monday, Aug. 31, the week before Labor Day. Kindergarten through sixth grade will start with a half day, while seventh to 12th grade students will have full days.

While the Berrien County RESA obtained a waiver from the state to begin school before Labor Day, the state has since allowed schools to choose due to the widespread closures and heavy mandates due to COVID-19.

“We have a lot of shared programs, and it will help with that as well,” said Brandywine Community Schools Superintendent Karen Weimer.

The move to an earlier start dates puts Brandywine Community Schools on the same start schedule as Niles Community Schools.

“It gives us the opportunity to get in and get going earlier,” Weimer said.

The announcement was met with both positive and negative reactions on social media.

“It’s a change for people,” Weimer said. “I like that we’re getting in a little bit earlier. We are able to work with the kids a little earlier. Last year, we started on Sept. 3, so we really are not starting that much earlier.”

The school year will remain the same length at 180 days.