Local Schools Will Get A New Start Date

Anita Campbell
County Reporter
Gov. Parson signed a bill to give some Missouri school children an extra week out of school in August next year. 
The new law pushes back the earliest possible start date for public schools by an extra four days, from the current 10 days before the first Monday in September  to 14 days before then. 
Cole Camp R-1 Superintendent Tim Roling said that Cole Camp is already in compliance with the new law.
“Our Board has already set the starting date of school for August 21, 2019,” said Roling.  “Many of our students are 4-H and FFA members and they need to be at the Missouri State Fair to show their animals and participate in other activities which take place at the fair.”
Roling went on to say that many of Cole Camp’s staff and students work at the fair and the Cole Camp Board decided it was in the best interest of the district to wait until the fair.
Cole Camp R-1 will also have an early release for student on September 5 for the Cole Camp Fair. The Cole Camp School District will not be in session during the Cole Camp Fair on September 6.
Lincoln Superintendent of Schools Kevin Smith stated that the Lincoln Board had also decided to start school after the Missouri State Fair is over.
“Our first day of class for students will be August 21,” Smith said.  “We have many students and faculty members who work at the fair and the Board decided it was best for our district to wait until after the fair.”
Smith also commented that Lincoln High School FFA members as well as Warsaw High School FFA members along with their advisors will be working in the FFA Children’s Barnyard from August 8 until August 18.
“We always worked with the students and advisor to make it possible for them to fulfil their obligations at the fair,” said Smith.
The Warsaw R-9 School District has scheduled the 2019-20 school year to begin August 13.
Missouri State law requires schools to be in session for 1,044 hours; however, the Lincoln School District has scheduled their students to be in class 1,100 hours.
“This new law will not affect our district this year,” Smith said.
The change doesn’t take effect until the fall 2020 school year, so calendars for this year won’t be affected. 
Current law allows schools to start earlier if school boards give public notice, hold an open meeting and then vote to begin sooner. Under the new law, districts won’t have that option. 
Backers say pushing back school could help Missouri’s tourism industry by giving families an extra week for summer vacations.