No action was taken yet, but the Osakis School District is looking at starting the 2020-21 school year before Labor Day.

School administrators and school board members discussed the topic at the Feb. 10 School Board meeting.

Because the Labor Day holiday is late this year – it’s on Sept. 7 – the district is looking at a school start date of Monday, Aug. 31, according to School Superintendent Randy Bergquist.

In a poll with staff and faculty, the majority said starting earlier would be better.

With a later Labor Day, students would end up going to school in June so the advantage to starting beforehand would be for school to end in May instead.

Other school districts around the state have already made plans to start before Labor Day, Bergquist said, adding that it is a controversial topic around the whole state.

If the school district moves forward with the earlier start, they will need to get approval from the Minnesota Department of Education.

Bergquist said he would bring more information forward to the March School Board meeting and members can take action at that time.

Classes added

Bergquist was happy to announce that the school district will be partnering with Alexandria Technical and Community College to offer students classes such as diesel mechanics and mechatronics, among others.

“This is a pilot program,” said Bergquist. “I am excited about it as it is going to give students more opportunities.”

In other action

School board members approved the following items:

  • Hiring of Kathy Arens, long-term substitute teacher; Amber Fiskness, paraprofessional; and Rebecca Kendall, paraprofessional.

  • Resignations of Jordan Janski, paraprofessional; Darwin Johnson, one act play director; and Rachel Moe, agriculture teacher and FFA advisor.

  • Leave of absence for Terry Lassie, custodial aide.

  • Shop renovation for new welders in the amount of $5,903.

  • Purchase of a football scoreboard at a cost to the district of $6,266. The total cost is $20,121 with donations coming from Alexandria Technical and Community College ($5,000 – donation to build a 3-foot by 26-foot sign in the amount of $2,410 and monetary donation of $2,590) and Silverstreak Grid Iron Club (monetary donation of $8,855).

  • Rescind the hiring of the JV assistant baseball coach and reopen the position.

  • Changing the Monday, June 8 School Board meeting to Monday, June 15.