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Published February 12, 2014, 07:38 PM

Grand Forks School District announces new start to the 2014-2015 school year

An unprecedented move by the Grand Forks School District. The new school year will now start after Labor Day. It's a subject that caught attention across North Dakota this summer, when the temperatures and classrooms were heating up, and school had to be cancelled.

By: Victor Correa, WDAZ

An unprecedented move by the Grand Forks School District. The new school year will now start after Labor Day. It's a subject that caught attention across North Dakota this summer, when the temperatures and classrooms were heating up, and school had to be cancelled.

A group of parents fought to push back the start date of school. Passionate parents held a press conference in Bismarck on the subject. But Grand Forks is not waiting for a statewide decision, the school board recently approved the start and end dates for the 2014 through 2015 calendar year.

Students in the Grand Forks School District will start school two weeks later for the 2014-2015 school year. Grades K thru 9 will start on September 2nd and grades 10-12 will start the next day on the third. And while they're getting a late start, they're also getting a later start to summer, the 2015 summer break will begin on June 4th.

As you may recall, this past fall, for the first time in 26 years the Grand Forks School District dismissed early because of the heat. The decision to start after Labor Day comes from a survey completed by both high school students, parents, and community members. Out of 3, 868 survey responses, more than 2,500 preferred school begin after labor day and end after memorial day.

Assistant superintendent, Jody Thompson says this past August when multiple days were cancelled or cut in half because of excessive heat in the classroom more than likely played into the decision of the new start date.

Jody Thompson, Assistant Superintendent said, "We haven't experienced it before, so it'll be interesting to see how the calendar lays out and again for our parents and staff who haven't experienced that before, so we'll certainly have some feedback, I think during the school year as it unfolds."

As far as sports, school officials say scheduling won't be affected, but students will get an extra few days of practice in the fall. And while the start and end dates have been established, Thompson says there is still a lot of work to be done by filling in the gaps with holiday breaks and student-teacher days.

Meanwhile, Bismarck did vote to push back their start date after labor day, but parents are still collecting enough signatures to push back the start date statewide.

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