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Stanley-Boyd sets early start date for next school year

Published: Mar. 15, 2021 at 9:10 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Some school districts in the area started this school year in August instead of September to make up for time lost when the pandemic shut down schools last spring.

It’s a move that requires permission from the Department of Public Instruction.

A rule from the DPI prohibits schools from starting prior to September, but not every school district likes that schedule.

“We think the school year just runs better from mid-August until Memorial Day,” says Stanley-Boyd School District Superintendent Jeff Koenig.

This school year, the Stanley-Boyd School District started in August rather than September after input from parents and staff.

“When we first heard last year that it was an option, that the state was going to allow early starts because of the pandemic shutdown last spring, we changed our calendar right away,” Koenig says. “We held a public hearing, the board and community was very supportive of it.”

Koenig says the district runs on trimesters, meaning the early start helps better break up the school year.

“The big trade off is we get to be done that much earlier. For our families, not having school in June, that’s really a big advantage for them.”

Stanley-Boyd High School Teacher Kayleigh Steinmetz says students are also more productive, with many extracurriculars already starting in august.

“For them, to start school around the same time all those different activities start, I think it will be really smooth for them and there will be less hiccups along the way,” she says. “They’re already back here doing sports, they might as well be in class and kind of get that routine down.”

Based on how this school year is going, the district requested and got approved to start early again in the fall.

“Because we don’t want to have an extended summer, we wanted to do an early start date again, so we’re starting on August 19,” Koenig says.

He says moving the school start date requires special permission from the department of public instruction, but it’s something the district hopes to continue even after the pandemic.

“The state tells us quite often that they’re all about local control, but for some reason the September start date isn’t a local control issue and we would just prefer they let us start school whenever we want to.”

Koenig says starting in August means the school year wraps up by Memorial Day.

Stanley-Boyd is not the only school district starting early this fall.

According to the Department of Public Instruction, some other school districts in our area starting in August include Cornell and Melrose-Mindoro.

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