School Board proposes policy change to start school after Labor Day

Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter

Last month, the Lyon County School Board voted to start next school year after Labor Day. Tuesday night, they board approved the first reading of a policy revision to make that permanent.

The Board voted 5-2 at its Sept. 27 meeting to approve a 2023-24 master calendar that includes the first day of school on Tuesday, Sept. 5, the day after Labor Day.

Human Resources director Dawn Huckaby told the board the request was being made for three reasons, because several construction projects underway are scheduled for completion for next summer, and the change would allow an additional two weeks to complete those projects; because temperatures this August reached 105 degrees, leading to several complaints that classrooms and buses were too hot; and because many students don’t report to school until after Labor Day, which impacts the district financially.

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Huckaby said this year, there was an increase of more than 280 students from Aug. 17 to Sept. 6, the day after Labor Day.

The school district receives funding from the Nevada Department of Education based on average daily enrollment of students on a quarterly basis. The 280 students showing up after Labor Day cost the district up to $182,000 this year. Last year, she said, it cost the district up to $253,000 as 422 students showed up after Labor Day.

Trustee Phil Cowee said the earlier start costs those students who report late two weeks of instruction, and he requested the Board consider making the change permanent.

On Tuesday, the Board approved the first reading of a revision to Policy ICA, Development of School Calendar, to state that school will begin after Labor Day each year, and that the school calendar will be approved by Oct. 1 of the preceding year, rather than by March 1.

The proposed changes will come back for a second reading and possible adoption at next month’s meeting.

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