by Dennis Dalman – firstname.lastname@example.org
Next year, students will get a five-day spring break at schools in the Sartell-St.Stephen School District.
On Monday night, the school board approved the calendar for the 2013-14 school year. It includes a five-day spring break for the last week of March and two three-day weekends in February and April. School will begin Sept. 3, 2013 and end June 4, 2014.
Board member Mary McCabe voted against the spring-break reinstatement.
The topic of spring break has been a contentious issue for many months in the district, ever since the former school board voted to end it last year. There was a public outcry against that decision, with many claiming there was not enough input before the decision was made. When a new school board was elected last November (four new members on it), the board quickly implemented new policies designed to enhance more transparent communications with the public.
One of those policies was to form a school-calendar committee of parents, school staff and school administrators. The committee recommended to the board the reinstatement of spring break. Another plus for spring break came from an online survey in the district. Nearly 40 percent of the 1,700 respondents said they were “very enthusiastic” about having a spring break. Most respondents indicated they were not interested in the “spring break” topic or were neutral in how they feel about it.
A survey conducted by high-school students showed overwhelming support for a spring break.
Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.