Lockers and desks in the Edgerton School District will be filled earlier than usual this school year.

School starts Thursday for Edgerton students, who typically enjoy summer vacation until after Labor Day under state law.

Edgerton got special dispensation, telling state officials that starting the school year early will help the district finish multiple referendum projects next summer.

“The reason we did the modified calendar is we wanted to start earlier and end by Memorial Day,” Superintendent Dennis Pauli said.

The school year ending earlier will give contractors an additional three weeks next summer to work on renovations at Community Elementary School and Edgerton High School, improving the chances of projects hitting the desired timeline, Pauli said.

The district expects both projects to be done by the 2020-21 school year.

Pauli said the early start hasn’t had a negative effect on the district.

“People like this,” he said. “This is what it used to be like back when I was teaching, and 20 years ago most districts would have started up by now.”

One change for the district included holding some planned teacher development days during the summer instead of during the school year. Holiday breaks will stay the traditional lengths. Graduation will be May 17, which is earlier than normal.

Edgerton High School Principal Mark Coombs said the early start has received a positive reception from parents.

“I have not heard a single negative. I have only heard parents say they wish we could do this every year,” Coombs said.

At the high school, Coombs said the early start will allow the school to finish first semester before the Christmas break. In the past, the semester ran into January, but this school year students will get a clean start on a new semester after winter vacation.

“It actually might work out better,” he said.

For athletic teams, Coombs said the change could be helpful, too.

“It coincides better with our athletics and also helps with our AP classes because they get more time,” he said.

Coombs pointed to the tennis team normally completing most of its season during summer, but the change could improve attendance and efficiency.

The football team normally plays its first few games before school starts.

“Our first football game is this Friday in McFarland, and we will have completed our first days of school, so there should be some more excitement and maybe better attendance.”

Coombs said the district is ready to go.

“I’m jacked,” he said. “We’re excited for the school year to start.”