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Should School Start Before Labor Day?

December 28, 2018

New Hampshire’s second largest industry is tourism.  Tourism includes a number of business sectors ranging from hotels to resorts and campgrounds, restaurants to retail stores, attractions, arts, entertainment, real estate, and more.  Tourism even impacts the trades and services, like house cleaners, property managers, carpenters, painters, plumbers, and firewood suppliers. 

In recent years, tourism-dependent businesses, including our own resort community Waterville Valley, have seen a drop in family vacationers in August as well as a mass exodus of seasonal employees before Labor Day as they return to high school and college. 

Pre-Labor Day school start dates and pre-season sports camps and practices are increasingly eating away at our summer season business.   

Save our New Hampshire summers - start school after Labor Day

I received an email this morning from White Mountain Attractions (WMA), a chamber like organization that represents, supports and markets 17 attractions in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, one of New England’s most popular tourism destinations. WMA informed its members that our local school district in Plymouth, NH, is considering moving the start date for schools to the week of August 20th, 2019. The Plymouth school board is looking to finalize the decision at their upcoming meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 5 p.m., at the Plymouth Regional High School (86 Old Ward Bridge Road, Plymouth, NH 03264).

A local business person, Jeb Boyd, writes, “Last night, the school board nearly voted to begin school the week of August 20.  Fortunately, one of our colleagues was there to share with the board the strong negative economic impact when schools start prior to Labor Day and they agreed to delay the decision until January 15.  With the record [low] unemployment rate, high school labor has become a necessity in order for our businesses to succeed.  A good work environment develops great transferable skills for our youth.  By allowing kids the time to work, it supports us in many ways.

  1. They have more income
  2. We have labor to serve our business needs 
  3. Families have more time to recreate and enjoy all that our area and businesses have to offer.

“I ask that you please share this information as loud as you can and encourage [people] to attend this meeting in Plymouth to send a strong message to our public schools that we need school to start after Labor Day.”

Plymouth school district’s decision could set a precedent for other school districts in our region.

Attend the January 15th meeting if you can.  If you can’t, please take a few minutes to draft and submit a letter with your concerns about schools starting before the Labor Day holiday. Submit letters to the address below by January 4th so the school board has time to review them.

Letters can be sent to:

Plymouth Regional High School
Attn: School Board Chairman
86 Old Ward Bridge Road
Plymouth, N.H., 03264

Articles relating to this topic:

Aug 28th: Sununu’s Push to Start School After Labor Day –

Nov 29th: Save our Summers Study –


About Jan Stearns

I've been living in and loving New Hampshire's White Mountains for most of my life. I moved to Waterville Valley in 1981 and quickly realized why it was dubbed a Yankee Shangri-la. Once you’ve experienced Waterville Valley, you’ll want to call it yours. The great team of Realtors at Waterville Valley Realty can help you find a Waterville Valley home that fits your lifestyle and budget.

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