The Dell Rapids School Board voted to move the start date for the 2014-2015 school year, but the start date will still come before Labor Day. During a special school board meeting held on Monday, March 17th, the Dell Rapids School Board heard concerns from the public and after almost an hour of discussion, the board voted to move the start date of school to the fourth week of August.
The original proposed start of school was August 19th. The board was also considering a start date of September 2nd, which is the day after Labor Day before ultimately deciding to start school on August 27th.
A survey taken by parents, staff and students was taken between February 27th and March 9th. During a regularly scheduled school board meeting held on March 10th, the results of the survey were presented to the school board. The results of that survey along with proposed school calendars were presented to the Dell Rapids Superintendent’s cabinet on Thursday, March 13th. Tom Wolff, representing the Superintendent’s cabinet, recommended to the school board during the special meeting to adopt the fourth week of August start date.
“When we were done discussing, what we came up with, is a recommendation from our board, was the fourth week draft. We felt that was a compromise. Many of the high school staff still feel that even that fourth week in August is not necessarily the best choice because of some academic repercussions,” said Wolff.
Wolff also said, “We did feel that the fourth week draft was a compromise that we could live with.”
Denae Klinkenborg, a parent in attendance at the meeting, asked,”How do we weight the needs of the high school kids versus the needs of others in the district versus the needs of the parents versus the needs of the teachers? There’s definitely an advantage in one way of doing things so the high school kids have an advantage, but then does that disadvantage everybody else?”
School Board President Tom Morris said, “I guess as a compromise, and maybe a happy medium, I think the fourth week draft was well thought out and reviewed by the staff and including, like I said earlier, endorsed by the Superintendent’s cabinet as a working possibility. Unfortunately it doesn’t give us as much time early with those high school students, and doesn’t necessarily gives us the late start that parents overwhelmingly support. It’s a nice compromise in the middle.”
Morris made the motion to approve the fourth week draft proposal. School board member Steve Stofferahn seconded the motion. The motion passed with a 4-1 vote, with school board member Matthew Weiland voting against.
The proposed school calendar for the start date in the fourth week of August can be found by clicking here.
The entire discussion can be seen in the archived video of the meeting by clicking here.