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Brainerd Public Schools: Spring break not to be included in 2019-20 school year

Brainerd School Board members discuss the 2019-20 school year calendar during a meeting Monday, Feb. 11, at the Washington Educational Services Building. Theresa Bourke / Brainerd Dispatch

Brainerd School District students will not have a spring break next year, but they will have two additional long weekends.

The school board approved a calendar Monday, Feb. 11, for the 2019-20 school year that does not include a spring break, meaning classes will end about a week and a half earlier than usual to allow for a longer construction season with all the district's upcoming building projects.

The 2019-20 calendar remains the same as the current year's from September through December, with school starting the Tuesday after Labor Day and Christmas break lasting Dec. 23-Jan. 1.

Mondays, Dec. 2 and Jan. 20, 2020, will be teacher in-service days.

Students will have Presidents Day off Monday, Feb. 17, as well as Monday, April 13, the day after Easter. Those days off will create a three-day weekend in February and a four-day weekend in April, as Good Friday is a holiday, too.

Friday, May 22, will be the last day of classes and graduation day for seniors. Teachers will return after Memorial Day for a day and a half of workshop days. Those two days would also serve as snow makeup days if needed.

Because of a miscalculation when the schedule was prepared, Superintendent Laine Larson said the 2019-20 has 172 instructional days instead of the normal 173, and an additional staff development day. Larson expects the schedule to return to 173 in following years.

"I'm really pleased with the calendar," Larson said, noting many staff members will have extra work to do as far as moving or re-organizing things with the upcoming construction, and this revised calendar will allow them to do more of that on school time.

"We intend to pay our staff for doing that work," she said.

After the construction projects are completed, Larson said the district will likely reinstate spring break.

In other business Monday, the board:

Accepted the retirements of the following certified staffers: Tim Edinger, a science teacher at Forestview Middle School; Bonnie Henningson, an early childhood special education coordinator at the Paul Bunyan Education Cooperative; Howard Jacobs, a history teacher at the Brainerd Learning Center; and Mary Parsons, a special education teacher at Riverside Elementary School.

Approved the release of $169,540 worth of bond funds payable to the city of Baxter to begin engineering services on the proposed Jasperwood Drive addition and associated improvements needed for the new elementary school in Baxter.

Heard the Brainerd Public School Foundation's fundraiser The Big Event raised more than $65,000 for the district Feb. 2.

Theresa Bourke

I started at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and the Brainerd School District. I follow city and school board officials as they make important decisions for residents and students and decide how to spend taxpayer dollars. I look for feature story ideas among those I meet and enjoy, more than anything, helping individuals tell their stories and show what makes them unique.

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