Payson Schools To Have Early Beginning

First day is July 30, one week early than last year's start

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Parents and students attending Payson schools next year can breathe a sigh of relief; school does not start on July 1 for the 2008-2009 school year as recent rumors have suggested.

School does however begin a week early, on July 30, instead of on Aug. 8 like last year.

District officials decided that because of construction and remodeling due to the district's bond construction projects at three of Payson's public schools, students needed a transition period to make the switch into their new classroom surroundings at one of those schools as seamless as possible.

"We want to make the switch for the students at Julia Randall Elementary School as easy as we can," said Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Bobbette Tomerlin.

While the district is focusing on the transition only at Julia Randall Elementary for the coming year, all schools will be on the early start schedule as well as having an extra week of spring break.

While the prospect of starting school early probably will not delight students, they can take solace in the knowledge that the lost week will come back to them in the form of extra time off during the school year next year.

Administrators are adding an extra week to spring break, so students will have two weeks, from March 9 to March 20, to pursue flights of fancy that grip youth with the coming of spring.

Tomerlin said that the construction at Julia Randall isn't scheduled for completion until March 2009, but that the early start date will help students become acquainted with the changes at the school as they transition into their new surroundings with the intention of minimal disruption in their regular classroom patterns.

At a school board meeting in October of last year, Tim Brand with PinnacleOne Consulting said they hope to begin construction at Julia Randall Elementary School by May 1 of this year.

Tomerlin said early start dates at Payson schools is not out of the ordinary.

"This is not anything new, we have done this in the past when necessary," said Tomerlin.

A district spokesperson said neither parents nor students need make any special arrangements other than to prepare for the July 30 start date.

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