VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer, but in Virginia Beach and Norfolk, public school students returned to the classrooms before Labor Day.
Those districts went back to the classroom on August 28. A spokesperson for Virginia Beach City Public Schools says it’s the earliest in recent history.
However, the early start may be having an impact on Oceanfront businesses.
Tom Gill, Chief of Virginia Beach Lifesaving Service said, “We reduced staffing Monday through Thursday. We still kept a strong presence out here on the beach, had lots of patrols, but were certainly limited in the number of people we could put out.”
VBCPS had no school on Friday and Monday (Labor Day) so many students were able to work on those days.
Gill added they hire 16 years and older and have a core group of high school students.
“When you start earlier, then the teachers are going back earlier and the practices are starting earlier, so it wasn’t really just last Monday, we saw effects starting mid-August,” Gill stated.
The crowds were also thinner on the beach last week, according to Gill.
Mike Georgiou who owns Fish Bones and Nautilus restaurants also noticed a smaller number of customers.
“Always the last week of August, it’s a little bit lighter than the summertime, but not the way it was this year,” Georgiou explained.
On the other hand, two mothers told News 3, that they like the August start.
“I really like it. I wish they could have started earlier, but I know most people here are used to starting after Labor Day,” said Allison Nelson who said she moved here from Alabama.
Mom Kady Sutter said, “August is so brutally hot anyways, might as well get them back started learning.”
No word, yet, on whether Virginia Beach or Norfolk will continue the early start in their 2024-2025 year.
Multiple public school districts in the area will return on September 5 including Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Franklin, Isle of Wight, Accomack, Northampton, and Southhampton.