Schedule won’t be impacted until six instructional days are cancelled; four days have been lost so far this winter

    The Crookston School Board on Monday OK’ed Superintendent Jeremy Olson’s plan to address severe winters that result in several cancelled school days and how that will impact the school schedule and potentially make-up days, not only for the remainder of the 2018-19 school year, but school years beyond that.

    “That way, there will be no confusion or uncertainty for parents and families when instruction days are cancelled and they’re wondering if any contact days will be made up,” Olson explained.

    Here’s how it’s going to work, this school year and beyond: Five instructional days will be able to be lost per school year with no impact on the school calendar. In the event a sixth day is lost, an instructional day will be made up on what is commonly referred to as “Easter Monday,” the day after Easter on which there is typically no school. If a seventh day is lost, a classroom instruction/teacher contact day will be added to the end of the school year, and another one would be added if an eighth day is cancelled, and so on.

    So far this winter, four school days have been cancelled. So it would take two more cancelled days to impact the remainder of the 2018-19 school calendar. If two more days are lost, school would be held on Monday, April 22, the day after Easter.

    Olson said the plan balances the importance of providing adequate classroom instruction time for students with fiscal responsibility in relation to contractual requirements with teachers regarding student-contact days.

    State statute requires school districts have a minimum of 165 student instruction days on their calendar. The Crookston district initially had 172 instruction days in its 2018-19 calendar, which is now down to 168 days.

    With several districts across Minnesota that have been hit particularly hard by school days lost to storms and cold calling on Gov. Tim Walz to somehow “forgive” the lost days, Olson noted Monday that the governor does not have the authority to do that. Since it’s a state statute, he explained, it requires legislative action to change it.