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Osseo Area Schools teachers and staff – and students – will get an extra few days off to "destress and re-energize" during the winter break next month. 

In an email sent to staff on Friday, Superintendent Cory McIntyre announced that the school board and leadership team approved a motion to extend winter break to a full two weeks. 

Rather than working Dec. 20-22 during the week of Christmas, those days will now be included in the break, which will actually be a full 16 days as it starts the weekend of Dec. 18 and lasts through Jan. 2, with students returning to school on Monday, Jan. 3. 

"This school year has again been a year like no other. All of us have been working tirelessly to meet the needs of students and families in challenging circumstances. I appreciate all of you for going above and beyond, but I also know that doing so has been taxing on our individual health and wellness. I’m here to let you know that your efforts have not gone unnoticed," McIntryre wrote. 

"Our school board and leadership team would like to thank you for your support and dedication by adjusting the calendar next month so you have the opportunity to destress and re-energize." 

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"It is our hope that you’re able to get some much needed rest during winter break. Please make sure to take some time for yourself. Thank you again for your extraordinary work," the letter to staff concluded. 

Last week, Shakopee Public Schools announced that all of its schools are closed this week to help slow the spread of a COVID-19 outbreak. The district is also considering extending winter break if the COVID-19 situation isn't resolved by then. 

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