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KELOLAND Parents Collecting Signatures To Push Back School Start Date

April 18, 2014, 10:00 PM by Leland Steva

KELOLAND Parents Collecting Signatures To Push Back School Start Date

A KELOLAND parent is not happy with a recent decision by the Sioux Falls School Board to approve the calendar for the next three school years, all starting before Labor Day. Now Wendy McDonnel is looking to get enough signatures on a petition to put the issue to a public vote.

Wendy McDonnel wants this petition to fill up with signatures to change the recent decision made by the Sioux Falls School Board.

"They'll be voting on the fact that schools can't start until the first Tuesday after the first Monday in September. Which basically is after Labor Day weekend," Wendy McDonnel said.

The mother of two wants the start date pushed back so families can have more quality time during the warmer months.

"My husband and I just always felt since they started school that it was just too early and getting out in the middle of May is of no benefit to us," McDonnel said.

McDonnel also thinks this issue isn't just about parents. She believes starting school in August affects local businesses too.

"We've had a lot businesses in Sioux Falls and the surrounding area that are seasonal. When you have kids starting the back to school process on August 9 like our middle school child last year, you're taking a huge component out of their business," McDonnel said.

The petition was provided by the school district. During the school board meeting earlier this week, School Board Vice-President Ken Alberty said these decisions are made with the best interest of the largest number of students in mind.

"These calendars are very thoroughly thought through. We've had many discussions regarding when school start date ought to be," School Board Vice-President Ken Alberty said.

McDonnel thinks that this decision is something that should be in the hands of voters.

McDonnel says she needs at least 5,500 signatures before May 9 to put this issue on the ballot.

Josiah's Coffeehouse on Reid Street and Relic Revivals on 57th and Western have petitions for people to sign.

Parents in Favor of Changing the Sioux Falls School Calendar Facebook page

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