Update on School Make Up Days
ISD 728 Families,
As we turn the corner into the last half of April, it appears spring is - finally - on its way and we are out of the worst of it when it comes to winter storms.
At least, we really hope so. We’re sure you share in that sentiment.
This school year has seen us lose five instructional days to winter weather - three in January, one in February and one more in April. This has been a challenge for our families and staff, and we appreciate the support and patience our ISD 728 community has shown as we place safety of students and staff among our priorities each school day.
The cancellations - and 2-hour delays - have left our families with a few questions about “make-up” dates, among other issues. Here’s a few questions we’ve heard, along with answers we have that might assist you.
- So when is the official last day of school, really?
- A. It has moved to June 10, 2019. That was the announcement the district made after the Arctic cold in January, and that has remained the same. That was also approved by the ISD 728 School Board last March.
- How can it still be June 10 if we’ve had “so many” days off?
- A. Despite school closures, the District calendar still meets the statutory requirements.
- What about the teachers and staff? Are they being paid for days they weren’t in school?
- A. No. Staff are paid for time they work.
- Q. Has the last day for Grade 12 students (i.e. seniors) changed?
- A. No. Seniors will still be wrapping up with finals on May 31.
- Have any dates for graduation ceremonies changed?
- A. No. Graduation ceremonies at each building will still be held at the same times, dates, and locations as previously communicated.
- Why didn’t the District use “Digital Learning” days to make up for the two dates, rather than wait until after graduation?
- A. The Minnesota State Legislature cleared the way for school districts to utilize digital learning days recently, but the state requires that plans be submitted and communicated PRIOR to the start of a school year, so the District could not implement digital days during the severe winter, according to statute.
The School Board and ISD 728 staff are working to utilize digital learning days in the next school year, with more information to come to families soon.
Finally, the ISD 728 School Board and ISD 728 administration have worked closely and rigorously to process all information and come up with a plan that is serviceable to families, students and staff. We understand the implications these “make-up” days have on our ISD 728 communities, and the hardships. However, providing a top-tier education to our students sometimes requires flexibility and patience. We know sometimes these decisions are difficult, and we encourage you to continue to work with your school staff as we wrap up another great year here in ISD 728.
Superintendent Dan Bittman
ISD 728 Schools