ISD 728 Adopts Calendar for 2019-2020 School Year
The ISD 728 School Board approved the proposed 2019-2020 school year calendar at its regular business meeting Monday, March 11 with a few changes in store for district families.
Students can look forward to a somewhat earlier release date in 2020, as the district ends the year on June 4, one of the earliest dates in recent history.
Additionally, more than two weeks off for Winter Break, from Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019 through Jan. 6, 2020, will be on tap for students next year, as proposed by the ISD 728 Calendar Committee.
However, Spring Break will be altered to “fit” around the Easter holiday, as students will receive vacation dates on April 9, 10 and 13.
“It’s a combination of a few things,” said ISD 728’s Kelly Stanton, Director of Teaching and Learning. “One, with December 23 being on a Monday, that’s a really tough day to schedule, so making it part of Winter Break makes sense for families and staff. Secondly, with that June 4 release date, we’re getting families into summer sooner, which is feedback we’ve had from families for quite a while.”
Christmas 2019 and New Year’s Day 2020 are both on Wednesday, making it difficult for instruction those weeks, Stanton added. Plus, travel days for families and “short weeks” could spell for poor attendance, so the longer Winter Break makes sense.
Another change - ISD 728 will no longer have a trio of early release dates for teacher workshops. Instead, a full-day workshop will be held on Friday, Nov. 1, which will be a day off for students.
“We’re excited to adapt to our parents’ needs, and one of the things we wanted to address was early release. Parents have shared that early releases make things difficult for our parents who work around the Twin Cities metro, and just tough all around for our younger students who need care,” said Superintendent Dan Bittman. “It’s a solution that worked for our staff and for our families.”
Finally, the issue of “snow days” will be addressed. The new calendar will include E-Learning Days for those weather cancellations, and thus, not need to be made up in June as has been the case previously.
“What that looks like is up for discussion, but we do propose adapting to that solution for our students when cancellation happens,” Stanton said. “It might be something that looks different from an elementary student - who doesn’t have a district-issued device - to middle school and high school. But we can work with the board on approving this as a solution, instead of adding those days at the end of the year, and then working with our teams to decide what these days will look like if and when they happen.”
The 2019-2020 school year will begin on Tuesday, September 3.