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The St. Paul Public School District has added two days to winter break due to the stress and challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The board of education approved a change to the school calendar, so there will be no school for all students on Monday, Dec. 20, and Tuesday, Dec. 21. Students will return from winter break on Monday, Jan. 3, 2022. 

"This change is being made in an effort to acknowledge the stress and challenges students, families and staff are facing due to the pandemic," the school district said on Tuesday. "The district wants to give students, school staff and their families a longer break."

The district is encouraging people to use the extra two days off to get vaccinated or get their booster shot, if eligible.

Previously scheduled extracurricular activities and athletics will go on as planned on Dec. 20-Dec. 21, and Discovery Club's Non-School Day Care will be offered Dec. 20-23 at two locations. 

In order to accommodate these two days off, April 15, 2022, will now be a digital learning day. It was previously scheduled as a professional development day for staff. 

Superintendent Joe Gothard said he's considering adding more digital learning days to the calendar in the second half of the year, the Star Tribune said. The district will survey staff and families about what days and how many they'd prefer. 

The St. Louis Park school district last week decided to cancel classes Dec. 20-21 for the mental and physical health of all, while Rochester schools will give students four days off throughout the school year, the Pioneer Press says

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