Edina approves pre-Labor Day school start


The Edina School Board on Monday voted to start the school year earlier – before Labor Day – beginning in 2014, over the passionate objections of some parents.

Minnesota school districts have largely stuck with the traditional post-Labor Day start, but a growing number of districts – 59 this year compared to just 21 in 2003 – have adopted earlier starts, in part to give students an extra week to prepare for state and national tests, the Star Tribune reported. Some parents said they didn't buy the district's argument.

"They said it would increase test scores, but they offered no data," parent Chris Rofidal said in the Star Tribune.

Johnna Reich told KSTP, "It is our family, our memories, they just took that from us without a community vote."

Parents who objected had launched a petition aimed at blocking the action. It had 250 signatures, the Star Tribune reported (although WCCO reported more than 320 and Fox 9 said it was nearly 400).

“They want that time reserved for family time and the last hurrah of summer,” Laurel Fischbach, who started the petition, told WCCO.

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Edina High School athletic director steps down amid probe

Under investigation by the school district, Edina High School athletic director and assistant principal John Soma resigned Monday. He said it was for personal reasons. The district put him on administrative leave in August and officials were looking into allegations "that had nothing to do with his employment at Edina Public Schools," a spokeswoman said.