Snow days affect school hours

Tristan Allen, Editor-in-Chief

Due to the number of school days cancelled because of inclement weather, the school district is taking measures to ensure high school students graduate on time.

So far, the district added an extra ten minutes to the beginning of the day, making school start at 7:50 a.m. instead of 8 a.m. and scrapped the high schools’ “late start” of 8:15 on even block days and started school at 7:50.

In addition to the added minutes, the district changed March 18, which used to be the last day of a period of 10 days without school, from a professional day into a school day for high school students, causing outrage among some students.

“Senior skip day… the day [they] took off of spring break. Let’s go,” Bennett Junkins, senior, said in a tweet on his Twitter account @bennettjunkin_ on Feb. 25.

What was behind the decisions the district made to ensure that high schoolers got enough time?

LeEtta Felter, member on the board of education, said that the district “schedule[s] in more student contact time than the state requires and can usually handle approximately four snow days.” Since the district cancelled school more than four school days this year, measures had to be taken to ensure that high schoolers graduated on time.

According to Felter, grades 9-11 were missing 16.38 hours required by the state in a school year and seniors were missing 12.63 hours. The adjusted schedule, according to her, would put students “in the positive student contact time by 2.04 hours or less for high school students, given [the district] have no further snow days.” This plan was impacted already.

Felter explained that the district still needs to find an additional seven hours to ensure they meet state requirements. The district recently decided to turn April 12, the lone off day in April, into another high school only day. Similar to the other rescheduled offday, seniors are calling for another “skip day.”

“Senior skip day April 12th since they took that away from us too,” Cole McBride, senior, tweeted from his Twitter account @ColeMcBride3 March 20.

Felter mentioned that one option to make up hours in school, while “not desirable” would be to have students come back “for multiple days after Memorial Day” while leaving fourth quarter as is.

Clint Albers, principal, believed that general classroom activities have been affected most by the snow days. He also noted that “athletics did a pretty good job planning ahead.”

“Everything got done within a day of when it was scheduled,” Albers said.

According to Rick Schier, member on the board of education, “when the school is cancelled,…most events are cancelled.” One of these events included the district spelling bee, which was rescheduled four times.