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  Tuesday January 27th, 2015    

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Back to school (08/25/2013)
By Frances Edstrom

Back to school! My grandchildren have been back in the classroom for nearly a week, which seems too soon to me, especially when the weather is so steamy and they could be swimming their way through the end of August. It is especially too early this year, since we had such miserable June weather.

Here at the Winona Post, we are taking a look at the volume of press releases that come in this time of year as people return from vacation, the river, the pool, the back porch and the playground, and buckle down for the real life of work that winter will bring.

Traditionally, we have run school lunch menus in the paper, usually on a monthly basis. This year, we are proposing that the menus run online, at winonapost.com, rather than in the paper. They take up room on the printed page that could be used for other news, and we wonder how important it is to our readers to have the printed menus. The Winona Public Schools distributes an annual school calendar in which the menus are printed, and other schools usually post the menus on their own websites, and may also send home a flyer about the lunch menu. If you have strong thoughts on our decision, please let us know.

I had dinner with my Winona grandchildren the day after school started, and was thrilled to hear how excited they are about school. Peyton, who is now in first grade, seemed most excited about having her own locker. ďIt has my name on it!Ē

She also was quite enthralled with the gym teacherís system of points for good behavior, or rather points taken away for breaking the rules. All the students begin with a certain number of points, she told me. Also they are told the rules. An infraction can result in deduction of points. This is a system she can get her mind around, being the sort of person who wants to play by the rules. Iím not so sure it would strike her sister the same way. Andie likes to test the rules to see how far she can stretch them before sheís actually broken one.

I was more than a little surprised to see the public school calendar for the 2013-14 school year has no spring break other than the two days before Easter and the day after. Apparently I missed that vote at the school board. Iím surprised that there wasnít a bigger conversation about no break, with four members of the board either actively teaching or retired from teaching. It would seem to me that it is a long stretch from January to June for both teachers and children without a meaningful vacation to refresh and reenergize. I will be interested to see how well it works to do away with spring break.

Happy back to school! 


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