School start, end dates could change for 2013

The Minot Public School District is looking at a Sept. 5 starting date for the 2013-2014 school year to allow teachers more time to move into a newly completed Erik Ramstad Middle School.

That starting date would push the end of school back to June 6.

“The bottom line is we need as much as time as can to finish the project,” business manager Scott Moum told the school board at Wednesday’s meeting.

Supt. Mark Vollmer said Ramstad is slated to be completed in time for the start of the next school year, but it will take time to move everything into the building and get classrooms set up. He believes the extra weeks would give the district time to make sure things are ready, even though everything might not be entirely finished. For instance, kids might end up eating sack lunches for the first week of school if the cafeteria isn’t on-line when school starts.

Since school has typically started by the third or fourth week in August, some adjustments might need to be made. The football team will likely play some games before school starts, for example, and the Minot High FFA organization might end up going to the national convention during the last week of school instead of after school lets out. Summer school classes normally held in June might also be disrupted.

Vollmer said the first of several community forums planned to provide information and get input about the district’s master plan will likely be held the week of March 11. The district will likely ask voters to approve a $32 million bond issue sometime in the fall that would pay for new school construction. The district is experiencing unprecedented growth because of the population growth in Minot.

Also at the meeting, Minot Public Schools vocational director Pam Stroklund said Minot High juniors who took two or more credits in a career and technical education class scored higher in math and reading on the North Dakota State Assessment than other stuents in the state. Stroklund said 67.1 percent of the students were proficient in math compared with 63.7 percent of similar students statewide and 77.6 percent were proficient in reading compared with 77.1 percent of students state wide. In Minot 98.2 percent of the so-called “concentrators” graduated from high school compared with 94.7 percent of similar students statewide.