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Our View: School starts after Labor Day

Should school start before or after Labor Day? That's a question the District 833 School Board is expected to answer at its March 18 meeting. Linda Rull, assistant superintendent for elementary education, presented the 2004-05 school calendar to ...

Should school start before or after Labor Day?


That's a question the District 833 School Board is expected to answer at its March 18 meeting.


Linda Rull, assistant superintendent for elementary education, presented the 2004-05 school calendar to the board last week. Board members Carrie Olson and Denise Kapler do not favor starting school Sept. 1, three days before the Labor Day weekend.


We want them to pick after Labor Day for several reasons.


1) Tradition. Labor Day has historically symbolized the "last day of summer" for many people, and to have kids in a classroom before that diminshes that tradition.

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It's a day many families take to reflect on the past summer, and take the three-day weekend to enjoy, either at the cabin or at the Minnesota State Fair.


2) It's what a surveyed majority of people want. According to the district, about 300 of a surveyed 557 people said they wanted school to start after Labor Day. About 200 people favored an earlier start.


3) How much do students learn in two or three days before having a three-day weekend? Students have just undergone a three-month separation from education, and we believe teachers need pupils' complete attention.


A sudden three-day break would disrupt that learning process, and teachers would simply redo what they instructed prior to the break.


Board Member Ron Kath, parent of a fall sports athlete, favors the early start. The season starts before Labor Day, he said. Having students in school would bump up student support.


We disagree with Kath's argument. The school calendar should not be based on the district's athletic needs.


As for game attendance, we believe the first few games are among the highest watched. Why?


Why wouldn't you want to watch the Wolfpack hit the gridiron under the warm late summer sky.

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We encourage the board to start class following Labor Day.

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