Northwest Iowa — With just a couple of exceptions, elementary, middle, and high school students in northwest Iowa will be going back to school next Wednesday, August 23rd.

We checked with online resources and school administrators.

All O’Brien County public schools will start that day, including Sheldon, Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn, and South O’Brien. The one school district based in Osceola County — Sibley-Ocheyedan — will also start that day. However, Harris-Lake Park, which, area-wise, is almost half in Osceola County, will actually start the next day, Thursday, August 24th. All Sioux County public schools will start on the 23rd, including Rock Valley, Boyden-Hull, Sioux Center, West Sioux, and MOC-Floyd Valley. And all Lyon County schools will start that day as well, including West Lyon, Central Lyon, and George Little Rock.

We checked with a number of protestant and Catholic private schools as well, and most of them are also starting on Wednesday, August 23rd, including St. Patrick’s School in Sheldon, Trinity Christian and Western Christian in Hull, and Spalding Catholic in Granville. The one exception we found is Unity Christian in Orange City. Their freshmen ARE going back to school on the 23rd, but the other three grades go back on the 24th.

Several of the schools, but not all, will also have an early out that day.

Sheldon Superintendent Cory Myer says, “We will have open house on Monday, August 21st from 4:00pm – 6:00pm at the elementary, middle school, and high school.”

Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn Superintendent Patrick Carlin says, “Back to School Night is the 22nd. We are excited to get another year going!”

New Sibley-Ocheyedan Superintendent Stan De Zeeuw says, “We are super excited to see all our students back in the buildings. We have a lot of positive energy in our buildings right now and our staff has worked super hard to make preparations for the start of the new school year.”

New Harris-Lake Park Interim Superintendent Gary Richardson says, “We would want to emphasize to the public to be cognizant of students getting to and from school, and activity will be increased around the buildings. This would include a special reminder on bus safety and to understand the law regarding bus ‘stop-arm’ violations and the need to let students cross roads to enter and depart the buses safely. For HLP, there will be a community focus on a November 7th bond election, which, if successful, will make a one campus school district, as an elementary addition will be added to the current middle school/high school facility.”

Sioux Center Superintendent Gary McEldowney says, “We would encourage patience and safety with all the construction we have going on in Sioux Center for our buses, parent transportation, and student drivers. Plan for a little more time in your commutes.”

Central Lyon Superintendent Brent Jorth says, “We’re excited to welcome students back to school in a little over a week. We will hold open house on Wednesday, August 16, from 5:00-7:00. TK-12th grade students and families are invited to stop by school to meet their teacher(s) and drop off their school supplies prior to the first day of school.” He goes on to say, “Elementary teachers and secondary math teachers will be implementing a new math curriculum during the 2023-24 school year. Staff was trained in June and will have another day of training on Monday, August 21, with Illustrative Math while 5th-12th grade math teachers will utilize Envision Math. Elementary students and families will notice a focus on mathematic conversations and deep thinking using IM’s problem-based model of instruction. Secondary students will utilize curriculum materials similar to the science adoption from two years ago. The online tools have really advanced from the last time we adopted math curriculum. Teachers have spent the summer learning the ins & outs of what the curriculum has to offer.”

West Lyon Superintendent Shawn Kreman says, “West Lyon will start on August 23rd, with a 1:30 PM dismissal that day. Our calendar looks a little different this year with full day Friday in-services.”

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