Hawley School Board Votes To Get Rid Of Spring Break - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Hawley School Board Votes To Get Rid Of Spring Break

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A spring staple in schools across the country is no more in one Minnesota school district. The Hawley Public School Board recently voted for no more spring breaks. The original plan was to have break at the same time as the band and choir trip. Now more class time has become a top priority.

"950 kids school is basically being shut down for a week for our band and choir to take a trip." says Hawley Elementary School Principal Chris Ellingson. "Is it worth it or can we find other options for that trip to go without taking a week off from school." 

Hawley Schools used to have a spring break once every four years to coincide with the band and choir taking a school trip, but now the board says it's more beneficial to keep the kids in class.

"In the spring which becomes important come testing time, for MCA tests, and for other assessments that we do as well, there was a week gap in there during that testing window that did affect our kids." Ellingson explains.

And they've closed that week gap by canceling spring break vacation. Some parents said they were disappointed with the decision the school board made. But the next scheduled spring break wouldn't affect them until the spring of 2017.

"It is an important trip a lot of kids are gone," Ellingson says, "and it affects the High School when those kids are gone, but then on the flip side it affects the Elementary when we shut down the school for a week and we don't have anybody that that really affects."

And parents who continue working while schools are closed say the break can make schedules difficult.

"For us with having younger kids in the school system it just seems like finding daycare for that week is almost impossible with the lack of daycare's that we have here in the area." says Jill Ambuehl who has young kids in the Hawley School District.

It was a decision the board struggled to make.

"They wanted to maintain the integrity of that trip, which has been a benefit for all the kids, but also to do what's best for the school community as well." Ellingson says.
But in the end, the students education is top of mind. 

Also plans are in the works for a school-organized trip for students who are not in band and choir. That trip would fall in the same school year so all students would get the opportunity for a break.

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