Denver Public Schools pushes back first day of school to late August to beat heat

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The school children shall melt no more! Or if they do, they'll do it later in the summer. The Denver Public School board of education has voted to push back the school start-date this coming fall, after a mid-August heat wave caused students to sweat and their parents to petition to delay the first day of school in an attempt to beat the heat.

The board voted 6-to-1 to start school on August 27 for the 2011-2012 school year, according to DPS spokesman Mike Vaughn. As per the new calendar, school would end June 4. This past fall, most students were back in the classrooms by mid-August and out of school by the end of May.

The new start date should please the majority of parents and teachers surveyed about their preferences. According to the results, 66 percent of the 6,899 people who responded thought the date should be changed. Of those, 34 percent thought school should start in the third week of August, 29 percent voted for the fourth week of August and 38 percent chose the first week of September. Respondents left lots of comments too, including this one from someone offering a creative solution for cooling the classrooms:

Born in 1939, my dad's school used to have an electric fan with a huge block of ice in front of it on either side of the classroom. Each family was responsible for bringing in a block of ice each day, with a big pan to, of course, catch the water under each. It was very cost-effective...and IT WORKS!

More from our Education archives: "Colorado's charter school law slips from fourth to seventh in new national ranking."

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


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