Cherry Creek schools to keep earlier start despite parents’ protests

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GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. -- A group of parents in the Cherry Creek School District are fed up with shorter summer breaks. They presented a petition with more than 1,600 signatures to the school board Monday night.

The board approved a calendar with a first day for students for the 2016-17 school year on Aug. 11. Students started the 2015-16 school year around the same time.

Some parents petitioned the district to push back the start date to at least Aug. 21 each year. They argue the earlier start date is an inconvenience for students and parents because it can get in the way of summer jobs and family vacations.

The CCSD said it has put a lot of thought and research into the way it structures the calendar. Three years ago, a survey of parents showed most wanted a mid-August start date with a fall break.

“This is the best learning calendar for kids,” CCSD spokeswoman Tustin Amole said.

The group of petitioners said they are not giving up despite the approved early start calendar. They have been meeting with state lawmakers to try to establish a statewide standard.

The school district said students are still getting the same number of summer break days since they will get out earlier at the end of the school year.

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