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East Grand Forks Public Schools add day to end of 2021-22 schedule

A school board decision means school is scheduled for June 2

An East Grand Forks Public Schools bus drives down 14th Street Northwest after school. (Jesse Trelstad/Grand Forks Herald)
An East Grand Forks Public Schools bus drives down 14th Street Northwest after school. (Jesse Trelstad/Grand Forks Herald)
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EAST GRAND FORKS — The school year is set to get a little bit longer in East Grand Forks.

School board members on Monday voted unanimously to amend East Grand Forks Public Schools’ 2021-2022 calendar to account for the four snow days the district has called thus far. That ultimately means putting an extra day — Thursday, June 2 — onto the end of the year that would otherwise be used for teacher workshops. The workshops, then, are set to be moved back to Friday, June 3 and the following Monday, June 6, according to Superintendent Mike Kolness.

Minnesota law requires public school districts to have at least 165 days of instruction for students in grades 1-11 unless they’ve reached a special agreement with the state’s education commissioner. Spread across those days, they’re required to provide at least 425 hours’ worth of instruction to Kindergarteners, 935 hours for students in grades 1-6, and 1,020 hours for students in grades 7-12.

Most districts schedule 170-plus instruction days at the outset of the year and adjust accordingly to account for snow days or other interruptions. East Grand Forks Public Schools’ calendar initially had 172 days scheduled, and the amendment approved Monday brings that number down to 170. Assuming it doesn’t cancel class again, the district will have a 30-hour buffer over the state minimum.

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East Grand Forks schools have three designated “storm make-up days” — June 2, March 11 and April 18 — during which school is scheduled to be closed, but which district leaders can opt to turn into class days. District schools are still set to be closed on March 11 and April 18. At the meeting, Kolness said district staff and students would appreciate keeping a day off, so to speak, in the last portion of the school year.

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The change to the school calendar wasn’t on Monday’s board agenda. Board members voted unanimously to amend their meeting agenda to include a vote on the calendar at Kolness’ suggestion. The district’s fourth snow day was Friday, Feb. 11 — after the meeting agenda had been set.

“We had some administrative meetings after the agenda was posted,” Kolness told the Herald. “And these storm days have kind of crept up on us.”

Eastside school administrators also canceled classes on Nov. 12, Jan. 5 and Feb. 1.

Joe Bowen is an award-winning reporter at the Duluth News Tribune. He covers schools and education across the Northland.

You can reach him at:
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