Most Kansas students will start school after Labor Day

Nearly 60 percent of Kansas students are expected to start school after Labor Day, according to a survey released by the Kansas State High School Activities Association and supplemented by survey data from KASB. 

The percent of districts, not students, starting after Labor Day (Sept. 7) is about 17 percent. The difference is because most of the state’s largest school districts in terms of enrollment pushed back their start date. 

Earlier in July, Gov. Laura Kelly proposed an executive order that would have required all public and private schools to wait until after Labor Day to begin any activities. The State Board of Education, which must approve any school closing order by the governor, blocked the proposal, which left the choice up to local school boards. 

Last year, almost 99 percent of students had begun school by the third week of August, and 85 percent had started by the second week. 

According to the preliminary data in these surveys, only about 30 percent of students are expected to begin school by the third week in August this year. Eleven percent of students will begin the week of August 31, and 58 percent will begin the week after Labor Day. 

In terms of school districts, not students, last year 93 percent of districts had started classes by the third week of August. This year, it is expected to be about 72 percent. 

However, these numbers could change somewhat. Not every district responded to surveys or have made a final decision on reopening, and some open dates could be pushed back due to COVID-19 trends in their community. 

School districts may also start the year with all or some of their students attending remotely. 

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