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February 25, 2023

Philly school district adopts new calendar; first day of classes will begin after Labor Day this fall

Some holidays will be observed with in class learning as opposed to days off

Education Schools
School Distirct of Philadelphia calendar changes Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

The School District of Philadelphia has approved a calendar that will start next year after Labor Day this fall. The new calendar will also eliminate multiple out-of-school holidays, replacing them with days dedicated to learning and reflection in the classroom.

Students of the School District of Philadelphia will begin the year later this fall, thanks to changes to the upcoming academic calendar.

The School Board voted to approve an after-Labor Day start for 2023-2024 and 2024-2025, a change that will eliminate some holidays currently observed with days off from school. As a result, the first day of school next year will be Sept. 5, 2023.

"In developing the academic calendars, our primary goal was to establish a schedule that supports student learning and meets the diverse needs of students, families, and staff while also adhering to calendar requirements mandated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and Collective Bargaining Units," Tony B. Watlington, Superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia said.

The district asked for teachers' and parents' feedback to create a new calendar. Because of the heat of the summer and the lack of proper air conditioning in classrooms across the district's school buildings, many were on board with a later start to the school year. 

One of the notable changes includes Indigenous People's Day and Veteran's Day, which usually come with a day off from school, now being observed with dedicated learning and reflection.

Some new days off will include Lunar New Year. 

There will also be fewer early dismissal days because of the difficulties of families accommodating the schedule to arrange care for children. However, the day before Thanksgiving will now be a three-hour early release day.

Because of this switch, professional development days have been adjusted. In addition, the new calendar includes 12 early dismissal days next school year.