Bismarck Discusses School Start Date - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Bismarck Discusses School Start Date

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Although the first day of school is months away, Bismarck Public School Board is trying to tackle next year's academic calendar, now.

With more than 20 different calendar drafts for the start and end date and  the main focus is around Labor day, affecting Bismarck and surrounding communities.

Parents, businesses, and seasonal athletics coaches say the beginning of the school year is a decision that shouldn't be made lightly.

The decision to start school later or to just leave it alone has become an important debate involving more than just the school board.

Bismarck High School Head Football Coach, Mark Gibson says,"I don't think necessarily what we do right now is broken. And so it's the old adage, ' If it's not broke, why fix it?'"

Coaches for seasonal sports like baseball and football say scheduling will be greatly affected if the first day of school is pushed to after labor day. 

"What we do currently I think it's a pretty good system. You know I think we went at a good time, football wise. I would hate for us to start football later, because now you're gonna get into colder months and that's not the funnest time to be outside playing football. Big benefit in getting out the last week of May, also is the kids get a jump on their summer work schedule," Gibson continued.

Mike Motschenbacher, a BPS parent and General Manager at the Bismarck Expressway Inn says, "Peak season is still in September. May isn't when peak season starts, so it's not as big a deal in May as it is in June. We're so dependant on part-time seasonal labor. And we greatly value high school kids."

Parents and business officials say the benefits to having school after labor day outweigh rescheduling sports. Waiting till after labor day allows for more family time and avoids putting some students in classrooms without air conditioners. 

Motschenbacher says, "Absolutely unfeasible to spend millions and millions of dollars for something we'll need for two or three weeks out of the season. If we can prevent that just by starting after labor day."

If school begins after labor day businesses will able to avoid being understaffed for about 4 to 6 weeks as high schoolers go to school while college students replace them. 

BPS school board has not made a decision yet. The board will be looking over several new drafts at their next November meeting. 

 

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