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Grand Island gives students and teachers two more days off school, citing mental health

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Grand Island Public Schools is again taking a few more days off, but this time with more notice.

Classes on Friday, Sept. 24, were canceled in a late move to alleviate stress on faculty and staff members. 

This time, the school days getting axed are Monday, Nov. 22, and Tuesday, Nov. 23, adding two days to the Thanksgiving break. 

GIPS Associate Superintendent Robin Dexter told the school board that the action is similar to what the district did for Thanksgiving break 2020. “Our staff are just burning the candle at both ends and taking care of each other. We would like to honor the need for mental health for staff and students so we were asking for the 22nd and 23rd (off).”

GIPS Superintendent Tawana Grover said in a statement: “We want to create a culture of mental health and wellness at GIPS. The social emotional well-being of our staff and students impacts their ability to teach and learn.”

Teacher overexertion has been identified as the primary stressor. The district has been struggling to find substitute teachers, leading many teachers to cover multiple classrooms and work during planning periods.

Jessica Votipka is the education reporter at the Grand Island Independent. She can be reached at 308-381-5420.


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