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Decision Coming Soon on School Calendar in 2012-13

The start date and graduation date for the 2012-13 school year will be decided by the end of October.

It's only 2010, but the first day of school in 2012 will be decided by the end of this month.

School Committee Vice Chairman Jack O'Keefe, who served as the interim chairman of the School Committee at last week's meeting in the absence of Chairwoman Alexa McCloughan, said school has begun before Labor Day for the past few years in Hamilton-Wenham.

Two proposed calendars for the 2012-13 school year have been distributed to the school district's leadership team and teachers' union to review and provide feedback.

One scenario has school starting Sept. 6, the Thursday after Labor Day, with graduation on Sunday, June 16. The last day of school for all other students would be June 26.

The other proposed calendar has school starting on Aug. 29, the Wednesday before Labor Day. With that scenario, graduation would be on Sunday, June 9 and the last day for all students would be June 20.

Under both scenarios, sixth- and ninth-grade students would start a day earlier and there would still be early dismissal on Wednesdays for staff development with elementary dismissal at 1 p.m. and the middle and high schools at 1:25 p.m.

The School Committee needs to make a decision about the school calendar by Nov. 1. The School Committee meets next on Oct. 28.

O'Keefe said the two proposed calendars were distributed in early October so School Committee members can get feedback before they vote.

"The school calendar is a real controversial issue in some communities," Superintendent Raleigh Buchanan said.

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