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Osakis school year to begin before Labor Day for 2022-2023

The decision was made at the regular Osakis School Board meeting on Monday, March 14.

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OSAKIS — Classes will begin before Labor Day for the 2022-2023 school year at Osakis Public School.

The decision was made at the regular Osakis School Board meeting on Monday, March 14.

The school board had a choice of voting for a schedule that started before Labor Day, or after.

The proposed calendars were planned by a committee of school administrators and teachers, Superintendent Randy Bergquist said.

Starting the school year before Labor Day will enable it to be finished before Memorial Day weekend, he said.

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Bergquist added that students will not be penalized if they miss class because they are showing livestock at the State Fair.

"We're not going to penalize you because you miss the first two days of school," he said. "We're not going to penalize you because you miss practice. We want our kids involved in many different activities."

Another change to the school year is that the students will not have classes on the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday. The district's teachers will use the day as a workshop day to finish grading and work on their lesson plans for the second semester of school, which happens a week later, Bergquist said.

The superintendent added that the district has gone to school on Martin Luther King, Jr., Day in the past because it comes so close after Christmas break.

"I have nothing against Martin Luther King, Jr., or the civil rights movement or anything like that," he said. "It's just that it happens to fall in kind of a poor place."

Osakis Elementary Principal Shad Schmidt said he liked the idea of starting the school year earlier.

"I think it would be a great opportunity to try it," he said. "It doesn't mean that we're locked into it forever."

School board treasurer Justin Dahlheimer said, "If anything, it's a pilot project. It would be good to get feedback on it after a year, just because you never know where people are at with it."

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Food service summer programming

Bergquist also announced that the district will not be able to provide food service summer programming this year.

"We did not qualify, which makes me pretty disgruntled," he said.

The program will not be provided unless something happens during the legislative session in the next couple of months, Bergquist said.

"I want to apologize to the community members and the parents at this time," he said.

Travis Gulbrandson covers several beats, including Osakis School Board and Osakis City Council, along with the Brandon-Evansville School Board. His focus will also be on crime and court news.
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