KINGSFORD — Students in Dickinson and Iron Counties will be getting their school supplies ready a little bit earlier than usual this year.

All of the school districts in those two counties – in collaboration with the Dickinson-Iron Intermediate School District – obtained a waiver from the State of Michigan to start school before Labor Day this year. The main reason for moving the first day of school up into late August was to align the schools’ start dates with that of Bay College, which provides many of the students with dual enrollment opportunities and collaborates with the ISD on the early college program.

“If we don’t start early, those kids are starting a week before school with their college classes anyway,” said Angel Inglese, Superintendent-Principal at North Dickinson County School. “So if they’re doing it here at school via ITV or online and they don’t have the capability to do it at home, they have to come in a week early.”

“The opportunities to have any of our students get as many college credits as they can before they graduate – I think all of our schools are trying to do that for all of our students,” said Dickinson-Iron ISD Superintendent Wendy Warmuth.

The early start can also help those who participate in sports which begin before the first day of school. The districts applied for a similar waiver last year, but it was approved late in the season, resulting in only a couple districts participating in the early start.