Rosh Hashanah has local schools starting late

08/30/2013 5:00 PM |
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | This new research area at Phillips Avenue Elementary School was unveiled in March. The Riverhead school board is expected to receive an update about the district's capital improvement projects Tuesday night.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Students at Phillips Avenue Elementary School and all other local schools will start later than usual this year because of the timing of the Jewish New Year.

The first day of school is rapidly approaching, but the timing of the Jewish New Year means area districts will have a later start date this year.

For most students in the area, the first day of the school year traditionally falls on the Wednesday following Labor Day — this year, that’s Sept. 4. But because Rosh Hashanah begins that evening, most schools have pushed their start dates to Monday, Sept. 9.

Students in the Shoreham-Wading River and Riverhead school districts will all begin classes Sept. 9, which is in keeping with the majority of public schools on Long Island.

“We went by the recommendation made by Eastern Suffolk BOCES,” Shoreham-Wading River superintendent Steven Cohen said.

Students at Bishop McGann-Mercy High School in Riverhead have the latest start date, with Tuesday, Sept. 10 as their first full day of classes. That’s because seniors have orientation Thursday, Sept. 5 and junior high students have orientation Friday, Sept. 6. Grades 7, 8, 9 and 11 have a half-day of school Sept. 9.

“The rationale for that is that the Riverhead Public School District, Middle Country Public School District and Hampton Bays Public School District were not providing busing until the ninth,” said Mercy principal Carl Semmler.

ryoung@timesreview.com