Missouri law requires schools to start later in the year

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Missouri law requires schools to start later in the year

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed a bill stating that Missouri public schools’ start date will not be earlier than 14 calendar days prior to the first Monday in September (Labor Day) in order to increase tourism.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed a bill stating that Missouri public schools’ start date will not be earlier than 14 calendar days prior to the first Monday in September (Labor Day) in order to increase tourism.

Jack Rintoul

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed a bill stating that Missouri public schools’ start date will not be earlier than 14 calendar days prior to the first Monday in September (Labor Day) in order to increase tourism.

Jack Rintoul

Jack Rintoul

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed a bill stating that Missouri public schools’ start date will not be earlier than 14 calendar days prior to the first Monday in September (Labor Day) in order to increase tourism.

While school was out of session, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed a bill stating that Missouri public schools’ start date will not be earlier than 14 calendar days prior to the first Monday in September (Labor Day) in order to increase tourism. This bill will be implemented starting the 2020-21 school year. According to Dr. Michael Havener, KHS principal, KSD will have to consider how the new law will impact teachers and students the following year.

“We’ve always had the timing where we were out [of school] before Memorial Day and I don’t know if that will be possible by starting  later,” Havener said. “Labor Day also changes every year, so depending on when Labor Day falls will dictate how long summer is.”

Starting this school year, Missouri also passed a law requiring schools to track the number of hours that school is in session rather than the number of days. With this policy intact, schools must schedule 1044 hours into the school year in order to reach the state requirement. As long as the district meets the 1044 hour quota, the length of a school day could potentially extend or shorten. According to Frank Parini, social studies and member of the KSD calendar committee, there are several new conflicts to consider with the implementation of the two laws.

“The question really becomes ‘what are some of the priorities that we feel best interest learning?’” Parini said. “AP testing starts May 4, so by starting two weeks later, that’s two less weeks of instructional time. Between anxiety, depression and stress coming to the forefront, having two less weeks to review is not going to relieve that.”

Abby Baugus, junior, said there are several things for students to consider with the two state laws, especially for student athletes. As a member of KHS’ volleyball team, Baugus said that a longer school day would be manageable, but could affect the students who participate in sports.

“I think that since a lot of people are involved in a lot of different things, there may be more stress having a longer day at school,” Baugus said. “Managing time will be different, but it will really just come down to an individual’s daily schedule.”

The calendar committee is meeting to evaluate the 2020-21 school year Sept. 4. Parini said he hopes the committee will be able to plan out a situation that accommodates the interests of KSD.

“There are a lot of things to think about to come up with the best scenario,” Parini said. “All I know is this will be a big change.”