You will see that next year classes start a week later. IDay is still July 1st and Plebe summer is 50 days. There usually is one week between PPW and the start of Classes. It was that way for 2010 and 2011. Last year Plebe Summer was a tad shorter. If you do the math it would put PPW the weekend of August 14 - 16 (That was the same weekend that it was for the Class of 2010) The weekend of August 8th would put only 37 days into Plebe Summer. IMO that does not seem time to have PPW with essentially 2 weeks left.
I would not "plan" as in make any reservations that can not be changed until it is officially announced. If you guess wrong it could cost you.
"Do the mids get the whole week off between the end of plebe summer and the start of classes?"
"Week off" -- well, it's just not that kind of place... Plebe summer and summer training for the rest of the mids end with Reform of the Brigade, when everyone is due back if they are not already there for some reason. In the days prior to the start of the ac year calendar, midshipmen are busy moving from summer rooms to company rooms, getting mandatory briefings, getting class schedules finalized, getting books. Plebes are getting computers issued, books issued, more gear issued, and being introduced to the plebe training program in their company (read: more stuff to memorize and special plebe duties). Plebe training staff transitions the plebes into their ac year company. It's a beehive with no play time. Plebes especially. The returned Brigade is eager to ensure the plebes get properly introduced to their place in life.
Plebes will have some off-Yard liberty ("town liberty") on Plebe Parents Weekend. Depending on the briefing schedules, the duty roster, and this year's leadership philosophy, plebes may not have Saturday liberty for a weekend or two after Plebe Parents weekend. Once Plebe Parents Weekend is over, I would say most parents leave.
Plebes usually do not have "Yard liberty," as in, visiting with family on the Yard time, during the week. The Mid Regs and how their particular company enforces them will be explained very clearly to them. Plebes are also much restricted on use of the Drydock snack bar, as to when they can use it and even if they can sit down.
If the usual pattern holds true, spend quality time with your plebe on Plebe Parents weekend, hug him/her goodbye for a while, unless you live close enough to visit on weekends. It will probably be Thanksgiving before the next batch of quality time.
The Plebes will have much to do the week between - If you count the "days" Plebe Summer does extend into that week so for Plebes there is no Off Week. They have a day that they do a mini Sea Trials (I forget the actual name). Then they have to move rooms, get their computers, buy their books and supplies. No time for visitors to say the least.
We left Monday afternoon - went to Mid store in the morning. Plebes were no where to be found nor did we have any illusion of finding him. They are still in Plebe Summer training.
Once the Academic year starts, the Plebes - depending on company and current MidRegs - will have yard liberty during the week and on the weekend (Sunday) Remember they can not sit on the yard. Saturday they will get Town liberty but if they have things going on - Boards or long SMT they may not get any or it may not start until later in the day.
Parents must keep in mind - even if you have traveled far to see Mid on a football or even non football weekend - your Plebe may not get any town liberty and you need to just go with the flow.
Profmom raises a really good point about expecting the unexpected. Particularly at the start of each semester, Plebes will be "trained" very thoroughly, and their liberty schedule can literally be shortened or cancelled at a moment's notice if Plebe(s) in their company "mess up." At least one company had various instances of having 4 hours of additional training during a planned liberty period, and having liberty cancelled altogether. That's just the way it can be.
The other comment I would add is that, if I had it to do over, I would plan to visit on non-football weekends. This year, home games did not start until 3:30, and Plebes do not get town liberty until after a home game, so that means only ~5 hours of town liberty during a standard home football weekend. On Sunday you can visit your Plebe, but they are limited to the Yard, and the only places they can sit are in the library and in Drydock (only with visitors). Also, by mid-day they may well need to start on projects.
One of the privileges that Plebes earn over the course of Plebe year is the full use of a chair and the ability to sit our on the yard.
Starting at march in on I Day the new plebes are not given the privilege (it is not a right mind you) of sitting out on the yard, sitting in DryDock (other than accompanied while on liberty by a sponsor or parent - not that they could do that either during Plebe Summer) and not getting to sit on the full area of their seat in King Hall. If you look at pictures posted at the Alumni Parent site or in many of the books on Plebe Summer you will see that the Plebes only rate the first 3 inches or so of their chair while eating. It is huge when they rate the full seat by their company (it typically is company specific so you will have some Plebes rating the seat earlier in the spring than other.) Universally, Plebes do not rate sitting on the yard until Herndon has been conquered and then you will find many a 4/C (Plebe no More) seeking a bench and parking themselves on it!