Minneapolis School District returns to post-Labor Day start to school year

November 14, 2018

Minneapolis school board members voted Tuesday night to approve a proposed change to the school calendar moving the start of the school year to the day after Labor Day.

The proposed changes would affect the school calendar for the next three years, beginning with the 2019-20 school year.

The states third-largest school district has the longest school year in the metro area. Unlike most school districts around the state, Minneapolis Public Schools starts classes before Labor Day. That has been the case for the last five years.

District officials initially wanted to see if a longer school year 11 days above the state minimum would increase student test scores. But starting school before Labor Day has not shown any improvement in students academic outcomes, according to district research.

Minneapolis Public Schools spokesman Dirk Tedmon said a district survey conducted last month showed strong support among parents for a shorter school year.

But a district survey conducted last year showed a stark divide in opinion between white parents and parents of color. White parents welcomed a shorter school year as long district officials maintained smaller class sizes. Parents of color, meanwhile, were wary of the proposed calendar changes to reduce the number of school days.

Earlier this year, the school board also voted to scrap the last two days of the 2018-19 school year.

Faiza Mahamud 612-673-4203

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