New policy requires that instructional day be added if more than five days are lost due to severe weather

    If you had plans for the long Easter weekend and you have kids in Crookston Public Schools, you might need to shorten those plans by a day.

    School being cancelled due to the blizzard and its aftermath on Thursday and Friday, March 14-15 puts the 2018-19 school year instructional schedule one day over the policy limit approved by the Crookston School Board around a month ago, meaning classes will be held on the Monday, April 22, which is the day after Easter Sunday. An off day on Good Friday, April 19 is already built into the schedule.

    When Superintendent Jeremy Olson pitched his severe weather-related school scheduling policy to the board last month, four days of instruction had been cancelled so far this school year. The policy approved by the board for this year and in school years going forward would allow for five days of instruction to be lost to inclement weather. If a sixth day is cancelled, school would be held on the Monday after Easter. If more instructional days are lost due to weather beyond six, then the board would consider adding days to the end of the school year schedule in the spring.

    Olson made the decision to call off school on Thursday, March 14 on the afternoon of March 13, joining many other school districts and the University of Minnesota Crookston that heeded the warning of weather forecasters who said the latest blizzard was going to be particularly nasty. While in the Crookston area the blizzard didn’t produce the potential 12 inches of new snow that was forecast, the extreme winds produced by the storm system lived up to the advance hype and led to extended road closures across the region and many cars and trucks stuck in ditches and in roadways.

    Thursday evening, Olson announced classes on Friday, March 15 would be two hours late and that buses would navigate passable roads only. But minutes before 8 a.m. Friday, the decision was made to cancel school because too many roads, including U.S. Highways 2 and 75, remained closed.

    Minnesota statute requires that school districts have at least 165 student instruction days on their calendar. The Crookston district’s 2018-19 calendar included 172 instruction days, which is now down to 166.