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I want to know why the Lawrence school district is starting classes so early in August.

Students are scheduled to return to class Aug. 11 for the 2004-2005 school year. It's the third year in a row Lawrence schools have started on the Wednesday during the second week of August.

"Four years ago there was an interest from staff, students and parents to end the first semester before winter break," said Sandee Crowther, the district's executive director of planning and program improvement. "Both semesters need to be similar in length, so when we shifted to ending first semester prior to winter break, the start of school was moved up one week."

According to the Kansas Association of School Boards, 88 percent of Kansas school districts started the 2003-04 school year during the second and third weeks of August.

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