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NDHSAA opposes Measure 8

By Staff | Oct 3, 2014

Dear Editor,

This letter is written on behalf of the North Dakota High School Activities Association (NDHSAA) to express opposition to North Dakota initiated Measure 8, requiring school classes to begin after Labor Day. Our organization and its 171 member schools strongly support local control of school calendar development. Approval of this measure could impact the needed flexibility currently allowed schools in developing curricular and co-curricular calendars.

The NDHSAA staff has received a number of inquiries regarding the impact of Labor Day start on our calendar. Althought the initiative does not address high school activities season dates, it should be noted the NDHSAA calendar is approved through the 2018-19 school year. Perhaps even more importantly, NDHSAA state tournament venues have been approved and are locked in through 2020-21 school year.

Due to existing long-term agreements with these venues and our approved calendars, three concerns with beginning classes after Labor Day are:

1. Student participation in activities may decrease.

2. Athletic regular seasons may need to be shortened, decreasing participation opportunities for students in our state.

3. Fine arts activities may also be impacted by shortened seasons, again decreasing participation.

The NDHSAA mission statement states “the purpose of the organization is to contribute to the education of high school boys and girls of North Dakota by protecting our member schools, students, and personnel from the exploitation of special interested groups.” Our organization, and its Board of Directors representing member school across North Dakota, oppose Measure 8.

Matthew Fetsch,

NDHSAA executive director

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