For the first time, school districts in the Garden State are headed back to school this week. Never have schools in New Jersey gone back in session in mid-August. For a few districts in Morris County, they've already begun their new term.

Sources report that some superintendents believe going back earlier in the year will prevent burn-out by the time the school year is expected to come to a close. Some expressed the inattention exhibited by most students once June hits, making it a real challenge for teachers to accomplish much of anything, let alone any serious testing.

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Since it's required by the state for the school year to consist of at least 180 days, starting school in mid-August would translate to an earlier start to summer break at the end of the 2022-2023 school year. Sources also claim it'll allow for high school students to focus on applying to college sooner, too.

So, what does this mean for South Jersey? It's a different world down here, to be sure. Should South Jersey's school districts experiment with an earlier-than-usual return to school? Judging solely on the fact that so many districts within the southern portion of the state are located in towns that cater to tourism, that reality is highly unlikely to ever come to fruition.

Could you imagine school districts like Somers Point, Egg Harbor Township, Upper, Middle, and Lower Townships returning to school while the regions are still in prime vacation season? Honestly, it sounds like a train wreck waiting to happen. People are still living full-time in their South Jersey vacation homes in mid-August, so not only would traffic be even more of a nightmare, but shopping for supplies would be stressful, too.

This one scenario that's proof what's good for the goose isn't always good for the gander. Just because this schedule may work in one part of the state doesn't mean it will work everywhere. If there's one thing NJ residents know for sure, it's that not every region of the state is created equal.


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New Jersey high school graduation rates

The lists below show 4-year graduation rates for New Jersey public schools for the 2020-21 school year. The statewide graduation rate fell slightly, from 91% in 2019-20 to 90.6%.

The lists, which are sorted by county and include a separate list for charter schools, also include a second graduation rate, which excludes students whose special education IEPs allow them to qualify for diplomas despite not meeting typical coursework and attendance requirements.

Columns with an asterisk or 'N' indicate there was no data or it was suppressed to protect student privacy.

NJ school holidays with the biggest buzz

Just which days NJ schools have off remains a reflection of its community. Some New Jersey towns now have populations that celebrate religious holidays not previously taken as a district-wide day, such as Diwali or Eid. Other days off are not religious in nature, but are still stirring up controversy or buzz around the state. The following have been making the most news, heading into the 2022-2023 school year.

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