Superintendent says district still has a cushion in relation to minimum instructional days required by state statute

    Stressing that he remains “very non-commital” on the subject and is open to suggestions, Crookston School District Superintendent Jeremy Olson – who’s dealing with the first scheduling headaches that come with a severe winter in northwestern Minnesota – tells the Times that when the Crookston School Board meets on Monday he will discuss with board members the recent school days cancelled due to cold, snow and road conditions, and ask if they think any classroom instructional days should be added to the remaining school calendar.

    So far this winter, four full school days have been cancelled because of severe winter conditions. With the state requiring a minimum of 165 days of actual school instruction and the district currently on track to have 172 such days, Olson said there is no sense of urgency to modify the remaining school schedule at all.

    According to the district’s contract with the Crookston Education Association, after three instruction days have been cancelled, the board has the option of adding instruction days to the calendar.

    When classes were cancelled on Thursday due to the blizzard, Olson updated district staff via email that if the decision is made to make up an instruction day, “Easter Monday” on April 22 is the most logical choice.

    Olson added that he is not recommending that President’s Day on Monday, Feb. 18 become a school day because it doesn’t give families enough notice.

Looking beyond

    Olson said he also wants to look at the issue that frequently comes up during the winter through a bigger-picture lens with board members. “I want to be able to come up with a plan for the remainder of this school year (while realizing it’s still early February and more instruction days could be impacted by severe weather), but also look at a plan for future school calendars,” he said. “When certain specific situations arise, I want parents and families to be able to know exactly what will happen, so we don’t keep people guessing.”

    The board meets on Monday, Feb. 11 at 5 p.m. in the Crookston High School choir/orchestra room.