As the final week of summer vacation winds down for most kids in Minnesota, some students have already gone back to school, including in St. Peter. The St. Peter School District was granted permission by the State to start classes before Labor Day this year in order to work around the schedule of an upcoming construction project. St. Peter Superintendent Jeff Olson says that starting early now will allow the school year to end by May 30th, at which time a district re-roofing project will begin. School districts can apply for a waiver to start the school year early when dealing with construction projects greater than $400,000. The other 25 school districts in southwestern Minnesota that started the school year early are continuing their experiment with a “Flexible Learning Year” that ends the year earlier in an effort to improve test scores. Those schools include Sleepy Eye, Springfield, Redwood Falls, and Comfrey.