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School Talk

Setting school calendar for next school year

April 7, 2012
By Harold Remme - ISD 88 Superintendent , The Journal

When school resumes on April 9, only 37 student days remain of the 2011-12 school year. The unusually mild winter will allow for school to be in session the full 170 school days. Only one weather related interruption occurred this winter with a two-hour late start.

The ISD 88 school board will be asked to adopt a calendar for 2012-13 at the April 12 Board of Education meeting. The calendar recommended for adoption will feature the first student day after Labor Day and the final student day as May 31. The calendar will include 170 student days.

Parameters for school calendars are set by state statute. According to current state statute, a school calendar cannot have a student day prior to Labor Day and must end no later than June 30 unless an application for a Flexible Learning Year has been approved by the Minnesota Department of Education.

The 2012 legislative session is considering a bill, which would allow student days to be held prior to Labor Day if there was not a school day on the Thursday and Friday preceding the Labor Day weekend. A calendar with a student start date prior to Labor Day allows for greater flexibility to build-in an extended winter break period or to include a spring break in a school year calendar. Lobbyists from the state fair and the tourism industry oppose the pre-Labor Day start option.

A change in calendar requirements was enacted by the 2011 legislature. That change removes a number of school days required in a school calendar and replaces it with a number of instructional hours requirement. The required number of instructional hours varies based on segments of grade levels. ISD 88 exceeds the number of instructional hours required at each grade level.



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