VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Next summer will be shorter for returning Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) students, because school will be starting earlier than usual.

VBCPS has already posted its calendar for the 2023-2024 school year, which shows the first day of school as Monday, August 28, 2023 — one week before the Labor Day holiday.

The Virginia Beach School Board made this decision in March.

“This earlier start… provides a small head start for courses associated with IB and AP testing. While better aligning with districts around the state and our nation,” said Dr. Eugene Soltner, who at the time of the decision was the VBCPS Chief Schools Officer.

A survey came back with 64% favoring starting school pre-Labor Day. The Friday before Labor Day will also be a holiday.

Both the Virginia Beach Hotel Association and Virginia Beach Restaurant Association opposed the change. Virginia law barred pre-Labor Day School starts until 2019.  Virginia Beach City Council threw their support behind keeping the start time after Labor Day. 

“We were told by school board members that it was coming, really one day or another. We are glad there is at least a four-day Labor Day weekend. We will still have a great Labor Day weekend,” John Zirkle, president of the VBHA, said. 

Peninsula public school districts started before Labor Day for the first time this school year. WAVY was there for the big day for students and staff.

All southside school systems, though, kept their calendars with a start date after the holiday this year.

10 On Your Side reached out to the other southside school spokespersons to ask if they are considering an earlier start date. None have posted next year’s calendars yet.

We heard back from Lauren Nolasco with Portsmouth Schools. She confirmed the division’s Calendar Committee is evaluating a change to future school calendars by looking into starting the school year before the Labor Day holiday. She said later this month, students, staff and families will have the opportunity to weigh in on the potential change through a survey, much like Virginia Beach did. When we get a link to that survey, we’ll be sure to pass it along.