Starting school after September 1st with Branstad’s new policy


Ella Bartlett, Editor in Chief

Students of the Ames Community School District better prepare for 3 extra weeks of summer this year if Gov. Branstad’s new start-date policy is implemented. Director of Iowa’s Department of Education Brad Buck declared in December that schools requesting earlier start dates (like the one we had this year) are going to be disregarded.

This not only means another three weeks of pool time or family vacation time, but it means we won’t finish finals before winter break. We will be starting school after Labor Day.

For different school districts, there are different needs for education planning. Like Ames, University towns would benefit from overlapping the University breaks with the district’s breaks. “I think a local school board should be able to decide,” Chemistry teacher Alan Junck said.

Junck also teaches 2 sections of AP Chemistry. The AP students are going to have the hardest time with this new starting time. “The exams are always held at the same time, and if we start school in September, that’s two and a half weeks of instruction that they’re missing out on,” Junck said.

One of the reasons Branstad has made this decision was for the State Fair business. “[The State Fair] is fun,” Junck said, “but so is Adventureland or fishing trips. You can work around the school calendar to do these things.”

“There’s no educational reason to start in September opposed to August,” Junck said. Junck urges parents and students who would like to contact Gov. Branstad and their legislators about this matter should do so.