School Boards Votes For 2019-2020 School Year To Start In August

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The Sioux Falls School District has been trying out different schedules for the past few years. Now, the district has decided that the 2019-2020 school year will start on August 22nd, 2019. However, the decision to start before Labor Day has brought forward mixed reviews. Some say it works better for teachers and high school sports and finals. Others say it interferes with early September travel plans.

There’s a few steps to creating a school calendar. It all started with the calendar committee last year. It was made up of 25 people: parents, students, teachers, community members, and school staff members.

The committee held community forums where the public could come share their opinions on the calendar. Most importantly, the committee sent out surveys for people to fill out their input.

A whopping 11,000 parents, students, and staff members filled out the survey.

Administrators say about 60 percent recommended school start before Labor day for the 2019-2020 school year. All three groups: students, parents, and staff, sided with the August start date.

“Does that appease everybody’s desire?” said Assistant Superintendent Jamie Nold. “No, and it can’t, because some wish to start after Labor Day and the majority wish to start before Labor Day. So, somebody in there is not going to be pleased, but we did try to take into consideration all people’s requests.”

There were a number of factors to consider.

“AP tests -so that we had enough time with the AP tests and those semester classes,” said Nold. “Some individuals spoke heavily about to be able to preserve the summertime, to be able to start after Labor Day.”

The calendar committee compiled those survey results and then passed them on to the School Board.

The board has the final say and sided with the data – voting for classes to start on August 22nd, 2019.

It’s making a splash at local businesses that count on a later summer, like Wild Water West.

“Those years that we got out those benefits of having a later school date was wonderful,” said Emily McNamara of Wild Water West.

The water park has a number of employees that are high school students in the area and can’t work through Labor Day.

“Sioux Falls does encompass a lot of our employees but we also have employees from the surrounding smaller towns,” said McNamara.

Neighboring towns such as Canton and Harrisburg, and bigger cities like Omaha and Minneapolis, also start in August.

According to survey results, 56 percent of parents, 64 percent of students, and 67 percent of staff wanted school to start prior to Labor Day.

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