On Friday, Riley Schmidt sat comfortably in his desk at school, reading. Though his eyes on were on the pages of a book, he admitted his mind was already focused on football in the fall.
"I just like playing with my friends," Schmidt said.
The 17-year-old running back and his teammates will step onto the gridiron the first week of September, no matter when school starts.
"If we start after Labor Day, we'd have a game before school starts and I wouldn't really like that, because I like going to school on that Friday when we have a game. So, we can wear our jerseys to school," Schmidt said.
This is just one opinion making its way to the Dell Rapids Superintendent Summer Schultz. For the last week, a survey online has let parents and students in the district be part of the school start date conversation. So far, according to the results, most moms and dads want to start after Labor Day.
"Families are saying, it's too cold in parts of May, when our kids get out. Then in August, when the heat is in full force, we're sending them back to school," Schultz said.
However, pushing it back would mean the first semester would end after Christmas break. For this reason, Schmidt and many of his friends want to leave the school start date in mid-August.
"I wouldn't really like to have homework over Christmas break, because that's no fun," Schmidt said.
"So, you kind of have a tug of war," Schultz said.
To help, Schultz has added another option to the survey. This one gives the option to have school start during the fourth week of August. This is later than the traditional date, but before Labor Day, allowing Schmidt to wear his jersey to school on that first game day.
"I called it the happy medium calendar," Schultz said.
Schultz will present the survey results to the school board on Monday, before board members set the start date. She points out gathering this information is just a way to gauge what parents and students are thinking.