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Superintendent's Report

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Although I say it with a bit of hesitancy, there is no reluctance when I state that spring is finally here! It has been a wild winter and - like always - there is much to share.

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The most frequent question I have heard recently is, "what is the district going to do to make up snow days?" Several methods to deal with missed student contact time were discussed and the pros and cons of each one were considered. The decision is to have school on Monday, April 13, and students will be expected to be present on that day. In addition, 21 minutes will be added onto the daily calendar starting on April 13. This will mean that school will start 10 minutes earlier and end 11 minutes later than the normal daily schedule. In addition, buses will pick students up 10 minutes earlier in the morning and drop them off 11 minutes later in the afternoon. Breakfast will also begin being served 10 minutes earlier in the morning. This daily schedule will remain in place for the remainder of the school year, although we will run a normal daily schedule on Friday, May 29 (the last day of school for students), and we will run the normal two-hour late start schedule on Wednesday, May 13.

A calendar for 2009-2010 was recently approved by the Morris Area School Board and can be accessed on the district's Web site: www.morris.k12.mn.us. There were actually two versions of next year's calendar that were approved. Under current law, schools cannot have students in school before Labor Day; consequently, one of the calendar versions starts on Tuesday, Sept. 8. In the event the law changes, the board approved a version that would start school on Tuesday, Sept. 1.

One change that you will notice on next year's calendar is that make-up days for snow or other emergency closings are clearly listed - there will be no confusion as to which day or days will be used in the event school is cancelled. Input from parents and staff who completed the school calendar survey was used to develop these versions, and I would like to thank those of you who took time to complete the survey. In summary, I would suggest using the calendar that starts school on Sept. 8 for planning purposes. If the law is changed, we will let you know as soon as we can.

One of the things our school district benefits from is strong community support - specifically, we have a significant number of people who willingly volunteer their time, energy, and expertise to our schools. Whether this means that you volunteer to read to or with elementary students, chaperone a field trip, coach a team, serve as a guest speaker in one of our classes, help with a specific activity, or help in some other capacity, your volunteering makes a difference to our students and our staff. The week of April 20 is Volunteers in Public Schools Week. On behalf of our students, staff, administration, and school board, we thank you for volunteering in our schools!

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