Brainerd students will start school on Sept. 8 - after Labor Day - and will be in school on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Brainerd School Board voted Monday.
School administrators strongly supported a pre-Labor Day start to the school year because the additional time at the start of the school year would provide more time to prepare students for state testing.
However, school administrators recommended the board adopt calendar option No. 1 for both the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years to support the local business and tourism industries in light of these tough economic times, they told the board. The Brainerd Lakes Chamber recently passed a resolution of support for schools to begin after Labor Day.
"We feel it's important to support those who support us locally," said Superintendent Steve Razidlo.
"I agree we should start after Labor Day and support the local economy because we're such a large tourist area," said board chair Ruth Nelson.
The adopted calendar includes a student day on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which board members said was beneficial since students would be provided educational opportunities to learn about the civil rights leader.
Spring break will be March 15-19 and students will finish the school year on June 3, 2010.
The staff development committee had 24 votes in favor of starting early if state lawmakers approved it while 23 voted to start after Labor Day. The district advisory committee, made up of community members, had one vote to start early and five votes not to start early.
JODIE TWEED may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5858.
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