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Arts and Entertainment

Tour of Missouri to Impact Schools' Dismissal Times

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/tourofmiss_3667.mp3

The 2nd annual Tour of Missouri Bicycle Race starts Monday (9/8) and will be in the Southwest part of the state Tuesday. Because of the race schedule, several area schools will have to dismiss early that day. KSMU's Michele Skalicky reports.

Willard school officials have decided to dismiss school early Tuesday because of the Tour of Missouri Bike Race. It's not so kids can watch—although now they'll have the chance—it's because the race will come thru that district during its regular dismissal time...

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Dr. Kent Medlin is superintendent of the Willard School District. He says high school and middle school students will get out at 12:45 and elementary and intermediate students at 1:45. He says, if they didn't dismiss early that day, many students wouldn't get home until 5:30 or 6.

It's a similar situation in Springfield. Weaver and Phelps will have dismiss early—at 2, Boyd and Bissett at 2:30 and Pipkin, Jarrett, Central and Parkview at 2:15.

Springfield public school officials say that's due to the race route putting riders in close proximity to those schools, and some roads and intersections will have to be closed.

Dr. Medlin says, while there are many positive aspects of the Tour of Missouri Bicycle Race and his district supports it, he wishes they didn't have to cut school short...

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Some Willard schools had to be dismissed early last year, while students in other schools had to stay late.

Lieutenant governor Peter Kinder, who spearheaded the effort to bring the race to Missouri, says he encourages schools to dismiss early so kids can watch the race...

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According to Kinder, there are several lessons to be learned from the race. There's a geography lesson, an international lesson since race participants come from 22 countries, and there's a health and wellness lesson...

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Dr. Kent Medlin says he and other district officials were involved in pre-race meetings and expressed their desire to not have the race interfere with school, but he says Tour officials so far haven't been able to accommodate their wishes. He says, though, that they'll continue to ask...

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The Tour of Missouri kicks off Monday and will continue thru September 14th.