MCC to add time to school day to make up missed days

SLAYTON - In a letter to parents from Murray County Central Superintendent Joe Meyer, he reported that as of the snow day February 20, there were seven school days that needed to be made up.

Meyer wrote that a decision made by the school board would add 20 minutes to each school day, beginning Monday, March 4, enabling them to make up four of the days missed. The time will be added to the end of the school day for both elementary and high school students and staff. With that plan, he said, the last student day of school would be Friday, May 31.

"Our belief is that making up time now is much more beneficial than at the beginning or middle of June," Meyer wrote. "We also understand that this change may be an inconvenience and may affect other schedules but I hope there can be an understanding of this need. Minnesota has a state statute regarding hours and number of days a district must meet during a school year."

On Thursday, Meyer said even if proposed legislation goes through to waive the 165 day requirement, the extra 20 minutes would stay in place. Legislators are currently trying to fast track a bill in both the House and Senate that would give school boards the ability to vote on having less days, for this year only, due to the significant snow and the polar vortex.

But according to Meyer, those minutes of education are more important.

"Even if they did pass it, we're still going to educate the kids," he said. "We're being proactive and would rather add this time than try to add days in June."

A separate piece is the teacher contracts, Meyer said. Adding this time each day will help fulfill their contracts, rather than be in the school without students for more than a week.

"We feel the best use of their time is teaching the students," he explained.

Worthington District 518 has also come up with a game plan to add extra time back to the school year, and it involves adding extra days of digital learning, and an extra school day. Dave Skog, Director of Management Services, says he is aware of the legislation, but the first step would be getting it passed, which they are not counting on to happen very quickly. If the legislation were to pass, the revised schedule would go back to the school board for any decisions.

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