Brooklyn Center Community Schools is extending winter break because of the manslaughter trial of former police officer Kimberly Potter.

Superintendent Carly Baker wrote in a letter to families that the school board made the decision because the break will coincide with the trial's expected conclusion.

"While we do not know what the outcome of the trial will be, we believe that extending winter break will allow the district and families to avoid any challenges that may arise within our community as a result of the verdict," Baker wrote.

The last day of school will be Dec. 17, a Friday, with the break beginning the following Monday, Dec. 20, rather than Dec. 23. Students will return Jan. 4.

The school board held an emergency meeting Friday to make the change.

Baker wrote that the additional days away from school "may cause some hardships for families," so the district will open its school-age day-care option Dec. 20-21 and send meals home with students Dec. 17.

The district's infant day care, Centaur Beginnings, will remain closed the week of Dec. 20, during which there will be no after-school programming.

Potter is charged in Hennepin County District Court in Minneapolis with first- and second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Daunte Wright during an April traffic stop.

Her trial is expected to end the last week of December. Attorneys made opening statements Wednesday after four days of jury selection.