After voting not to pursue another three-year flexible learning schedule, the Redwood Area Board of Education directed the Redwood Area School District administration to go back to the drawing board to come up with proposals for a new calendar for the 2019-2020 school year.

During its January meeting, the school board saw three calendar proposals, which were then narrowed to two, with those calendars then presented to the school staff.

After seeing what it considered a balanced outcome from that voting, the board further discussed the two calendar options at its February meeting, with the ultimate decision coming down to the length of the holiday season break and the last day of school.

The calendar which was approved by the school board will have an abbreviated holiday break in comparison to the other proposed calendar, with school resuming Jan. 2 rather than extending the break until a Jan. 6 date.

Board member Jim Buckley said he favored having additional days in January as opposed to more days in June, adding he believes those days are more valuable to learning.

Under the approved calendar, the 2019-20 school year will begin Sept. 3, the day after Labor Day. The final day of the 2019-20 school year is June 2. Graduation for the Class of 2020 will be May 31. There are 174 student contact days in the 2019-20 calendar.

In other action during its Feb. 25 meeting, the school board:

• Accepted the resignation of Brandon Thurk from his position as an agriculture education teacher effective May 23, 2019.

• Approved the employment of Amy Ahrens as a special education paraprofessional at a rate of $11.95 per hour.

• Approved the employment of Kirsten Anderson, Cindy Gunderson, April Lindberg and Lindy Kaden as staff for the spring Early Childhood Family Education classes.

• Approved the joint city-school committee recommendations to purchase $16,998.29 in equipment for the Redwood Area Community Center as well as for baseball and softball programs. The funds come from the annual $10,000 allocation the Redwood Area School District and City of Redwood Falls each make to help make improvements that are mutually beneficial to clients represented by both governmental entities.

• Formally expressed appreciation for the Thielen school bus drivers who serve the school district in recognition of School Bus Driver Appreciation Day, which was Feb. 27.