Although students may still be helping teachers and staff move classroom items to a gym, May 24 will count as a school day for Morris Area 6th through 11th-grade students.

The Morris Area School Board decided at its March 18 meeting to change May 24 back to a day of school instead of forgiving that day for students.

While it appears the state Legislature will forgive at least some of the school days lost to bad weather this year, superintendent Rick Lahn said teachers and administration have indicated they'd be fine with adding May 24 back as a counted school day.

As of March 18, Morris Area High School students (grades 6-12) would have 165 student contact days which meets the minimum days required by the state, Lahn said. The elementary school would have 168 student contact days.

Students will still be helping to move classroom items to the 1968 gym on May 24 but counting the day as a school day will give staff more flexibility, Lahn said.

High school principal Bill Kehoe said the extra day could give teachers additional time for semester tests. "Another day to wrap things up would be a possible thing," Kehoe said.

Board member Kurt Wulf said he'd like to wait until April to make a decision because the Legislature will likely forgive some lost days of school.

Lahn said the board could wait until April but shouldn't wait any longer then that in order to allow teachers and parents to plan.

"I'd rather decide earlier than later," board member Anthony Ekren said.

Board member Mike Odello asked if the board could give Lahn the authority to add the day as a student contact day if he thought it was needed.

"I'd rather it be a board decision," Lahn said.

After some discussion, board member Matt Johnson moved that the board count May 24 as a student contact day.

"From my standpoint, regardless of what comes from the state, I'd be in favor of (adding the day back)," Johnson said. The principals are fine with and it appears the staff and students would benefit from adding the day back as a student contact day, Johnson said.

The change was unanimously approved.