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Start Date Changing for Schools in Sioux Falls

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Kids in the Sioux Falls School District will soon be looking at an extra week of summer.
The school board met tonight to hear recommendations for a new start date, one week later.

When the idea was originally proposed by concerned parents months ago, there were worries about how that might affect testing that takes place near Christmas Break.
But a compromise has been reached.

Starting the 2011 to 2012 school year, students in the Sioux Falls school district will start an entire week later than usual, on August 22nd, as opposed to August 16th.

The change in date was up for consideration after a group of parents and community members came forward, with the opinion that the school year started too soon.
They said it interfered with summer vacation and didn't coincide with the rest of the family's days off. With South Dakota's summers short as is, they argued, their kids didn't get enough time to enjoy it.

Some Educators, along with other citizens, expressed concern that a later school date would mean high school students would have to wait until after the winter holiday break to take their first semester tests...running a risk of lower test scores. So, Sioux Falls school District leaders found a way to compromise.

"The bottom line for us is doing what's right for students. So we're pleased we're able to do that yet also be responsive to concerns of community members," said Bill Smith from the Sioux Falls School District.

The days will be made up throughout the year. For example, Martin Luther King Day will no longer be a day off of school. Instead the school district is looking at ways to celebrate it during the school day. The same goes for Native American Day.

As for future years, the plan is to have every year start a week late, so to avoid confusion and to keep consistency. But next year, they will decide if it will be extended for certain.

Both the 2010 to 2011, and the 2011 to 2012 calendars were approved for the Sioux Falls school district tonight.
Next year will still start on August 16th.
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