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Despite objections, USC cuts ‘spring break’

By Staff | Mar 1, 2010

USC Superintendent Jensen

It’s not easy being a parent.

And, serving on the United South Central School Board can make it even tougher at times.

Three board members recently found out making budget cuts isn’t the only issue that generates a lot of discussion and emotion.

For example, a proposal to scrap ‘spring break’ because of too many school closings turned to be quite a hot issue in some homes.

Despite lobbying efforts from their kids, the board members voted unanimously with their colleagues to make up three of six snow days.

“There are stringent testing and academic standards mandated by the state. We have to make up those days to prepare our kids to move on to the next grade level,” says board chair Christie Wetzel.

School will be held on April 2 and 5, and also on March 1 — a day that had been set aside for staff development.

Superintendent Jerry Jensen says a goal of the board should be to make up as many missed days as possible.

In other business, board members received some good news.

Jensen says the district will not be responsible for running the education program at Minnesota Girls Academy, a school for at-risk Jewish teen girls planned in Bricelyn.

Because Minnesota Girls Academy will be licensed as a care/treatment facility, it cannot operate as a school.

Jensen says he recently met with Kimberly Testa, the school’s director, and its founder, Rabbi A.Y. Weinberg.

“He (Weinberg) assured me in as many ways he could say it — their intent is not to put any financial burden on the district whatsoever,” says Jensen.

The superintendent says the next step will be for him to evaluate on-line high school programs the academy could use.

Jensen says legal documents will have to be drawn up to show the district has no financial responsibility or liability.

To read more of this story, see this week’s Register.