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When did school start starting in the middle of the week??

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Depends on the goals of the district, gotta get in certain amount of minutes/days. If the goal is to be done before Winter Break and you have days like Labor Day,  Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Veteran's Day, Wednesday before Thanksgiving (some districts give off the whole week now),  than you add in a couple of extra days at the beginning. 

Also makes it not so bad for the kids where you ease them into the year. One school I know of used to have freshmen come in on Monday and Tuesday for a half day. Sophomores-Seniors would come in on Wed-Thursday for a half day and everybody comes in on Friday that way freshmen could find their way without the scary upperclassmen. 

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I went to a private school and we started Monday or Tuesday, depending on the grade you were in. 6th grade and freshmen started on Monday (super chill day) to allow them to adjust to new buildings, new bell schedule, etc. Everyone else started Tuesday. 

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