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Duluth Public Schools plans to extend winter break

If approved by the School Board, Dec. 22 and Jan. 3 will be added to the winter break and the district will be closed those two days.

Duluth Public Schools
(Graphic by Adelle Whitefoot / awhitefoot@duluthnews.com)

Duluth Public Schools is planning to extend its winter break by two days due to staff shortages and increased COVID-19 cases in the community.

The change in district calendar is pending approval by the Duluth School Board during a special meeting scheduled Tuesday in the Denfeld High School media center before the 5:30 p.m. committee of the whole meeting.

SEE ALSO : Today's Northland COVID-19 numbers On Dec. 2, the Minnesota Department of Health and Wisconsin Department of Health Services recorded 336 new cases of COVID-19 in the Northland and six COVID-19-related deaths.

If approved by the School Board, Dec. 22 and Jan. 3 will be added to the winter break and the district will be closed those two days.

“With general staffing shortages, many unfilled positions and a shortage of temporary help, every position in the district has been impacted," Superintendent John Magas said in a news release. “We also want to ensure student, staff and family safety by providing COVID testing opportunities for students and staff as they return to school from our winter break."

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As COVID-19 cases increase in the community, Magas said the district is planning to offer voluntary COVID testing through local public health and community partners Jan. 3 for symptomatic students and staff. Magas said more information on times and location will be released before then.

Additional information regarding food service and child care needs will also be released soon. The district will continue to monitor the situation and provide additional updates as necessary, the news release said.

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