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Morris Area School Board approves extra vacation day of '13-'14 school calendar

MORRIS - The last day of the 2013 - 2014 school year will push into June after the Morris Area School Board approved an extra vacation day in March for next year at the request of parents and staff surveyed.

The school calendar is developed with input collected in an online survey that includes questions on the fall workshop, open house, parent night, spring break, snow days, long weekends, conferences, and winter break, Monson said.

This year, 111 parents (up from 67 last year) and 69 staff members (down from 101 last year), complected the survey.

While parents and staff agree on a number of issues, there are two major areas of difference, Superintendent Scott Monson reported. Nearly 70 percent of parents would like the Open House and Parent Night to be two separate events, while 90 percent of staff would like them on one event.

Most parents, 85 percent, would like conferences on more than one day or night, while 76 percent of staff would prefer to have conferences on a single day or evening.

The calendar also includes an extra vacation day on Friday, March 14, since there is a stretch of about eight weeks without a break. Monson said both staff and parents indicated this would be beneficial. However, the change means having a school day on Monday, June 2 and moving a Teacher Workday to June 3.

Principals Ken Gagner and Craig Peterson also supported the extra vacation day.

"I have no issues with it. I think with the pressures teachers are under and students are under, they need a break," said Gagner. "To me, I have no troubles going into June. ... I think it's a good thing for kids to have a break now and then. I think it's a good thing for our teachers to have a break."

A copy of the calendar is attached to this story.