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Supt. Olson introduces the 2020-21 Academic Calendar

Dear Monticello Families,

We are ready to present the 2020-21 Magic School Calendar! This calendar was put together by a group of 35 people (including parents and educators) who united to find an academic schedule that we believe best meets the needs of our students, educators, and families.

We are really excited about this calendar, and believe strongly that it is our best one yet. We will also be using this calendar in conjunction with the 2021-22 calendar (which we plan to release in March) to make equity a point of emphasis and to balance our approach to educational holidays. For example, we will be in school on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2021 and will use that day to educate our students about the importance of Dr. King and the Civil Rights movement. In 2022, we’ll give the day off, allowing an opportunity for reflection and for us to emphasize the importance of the holiday. 

In regards to other holidays that families celebrate that may fall during the school year, we want to be clear that while we expect all families to honor the academic calendar with strong attendance, we also believe families need to honor their own family schedule, specifically in regards to traditions, customs, and holidays. Even if our calendar doesn’t reflect all of those holidays, we respect and value every family’s right to uphold their traditions. 

Lastly, you may notice that the total number of school days has decreased in this calendar. This move, encouraged several years ago by the Minnesota Education Commissioner at the time, Brenda Cassellius, allows our educators more opportunity for professional development. We believe that if we want to do new things, and do things better than we ever have, we need to prepare differently and with more time. One thing this does mean is that we very likely will not be issuing “Snow Days” during the 2020-21 school year, as we are just over the minimum number of days required (as is becoming common for districts). Instead, all days where weather prevents students from safely coming to school will be Digital and At Home Learning Days. We will, however, still have late starts and early dismissals as needed when the weather dictates these decisions. Safety is always the number one priority of our district. 

This School Board approved calendar will allow us to continue education in a consistent manner throughout the school year, and schedule our off days at times that are most valuable to our educators and our students. 

Without further ado, please find the 2020-21 calendar here. Thank you once more to all of our educators that worked so hard to come up with this calendar. We look forward to working with all of our families to make the 2020-21 school year another memorable experience! 


Sincerely,

Superintendent Eric Olson