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Willmar School Board meets Monday

WILLMAR — Students in the Willmar Public Schools could see their school days expanded for the rest of the school year.

The Willmar School Board will decide next week whether to increase the length of days to make up for snow days in January. The board meeting is at 4:30 p.m. Monday in the board room on the first floor of the Willmar Education and Arts Center.

If the board approves the idea, elementary students would go to school 10 minutes longer every day starting Wednesday. Students in middle school and high school would go to school 15 minutes longer, also starting Wednesday.

Over the remainder of the school year, the extra minutes would add up to 2 additional days of instruction time for elementary students and 3 additional days for middle school and high school.

The state requires students to receive a minimum number of hours of instruction over the course of a school year — 850 hours for all-day kindergarten students, 937 hours for grades 1-6 and 1,020 hours for grades 7-12. Districts that attend school five days a week must also have at least 165 days of instruction.

The board will discuss legislative issues with Rep. Mary Sawatzky, DFL-Willmar, and Sen. Lyle Koenen, DFL-Clara City.

Other items on the agenda for Monday include an extension of the district’s contracts for student transportation, approval of a labor agreement with the district’s custodial union and a discussion of upcoming curriculum and scheduling changes at Willmar Senior High

The board meeting will be recorded and shown on local cable access channel 19 at 9 p.m. Monday and at noon and 9 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.