School closures likely to force make-up days
With three snow days in the books and a good chunk of winter left, some area school administrators are talking about how they'll be making up classroom time.
Between the bitter cold that closed schools Monday and Tuesday and an ice storm just before the holiday break, some districts already have used up the snow days they built into their calendars.
Each district's calendar is different, but all need to meet a 180-day requirement and a minimum number of minutes.
Some Milwaukee-area school district superintendents were considering asking the state Department of Public Instruction to waive the two days of cold-weather closures so districts don't have to make them up, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
A DPI spokesman told the Journal Sentinel that districts that had used up their snow days could find other ways to address is.
“There have been a number of times over the years when districts have had to adjust their days and hours of instruction due to more inclement weather than they had planned for and expected,” DPI spokesman John Johnson told the paper.
A potential day off in May for the Janesville School District will instead be a school day. According to a calendar posted on the district's website, May 23 was set aside in case school had to be canceled more than once for weather, so it now appears May 23 will be a school day.
If one or no weather cancellations had occurred, Friday, May 23, would have been a day off.
The district did not respond Tuesday to a question about what would happen if weather causes another lost school day.
The Milton district is OK for now, but administrators will discuss at a meeting this morning what to do if another snow day is needed. The district has used the three days it built into its calendar, Superintendent Tim Schigur said. Adding a day to the end of the year would be the easiest, or with enough notice, the district could skip a scheduled day off.
Edgerton students might have to make up time, but Superintendent Dennis Pauli still was crunching numbers Tuesday. The district built in two inclement weather days but has used three.
Pauli said he needs to calculate the instructional minutes before determining if a day needs to be made up. If a make-up day is needed, the district would have classes on the Monday after Easter, April 21, which is scheduled now as a vacation day.
If Mother Nature forces more closures, Pauli said, the district would look at possibly extending the school year.
Albany School District has three snow days built into its calendar, Superintendent Steve Guenther said.
“Beyond that, it will depend on whether or not we have enough hours of instruction and whether or not the board wants to forgive those days,” he said.
The Beloit School District does not have any snow days built into its schedule, so this week's days will have to be made up at the end of the year, district spokeswoman Melissa Badger said.
The Beloit Turner School District has three snow days built into the calendar, and it had not used any before this week, Superintendent Dennis McCarthy said last week. Tuesday was its second weather-related cancellation.
Brodhead schools make up their first and third snow days, but not their second and fourth days, Superintendent Leonard Lueck said.
The district had a snow day in December, which will be made up June 6, he said.
Monday's cancellation for the cold will not be made up because it was the second snow day of the year.
Administrators still were talking Monday about how to make up Tuesday's cancellation--the third snow day of the year. They were considering adjusting the in-service days or adding a day in June, he said.
The Clinton School District has two days built into its calendar and has used three. The district will make up one day by adding it to the end of the school year, making the last day of school Monday, June 9, Superintendent Randy Refsland said.
“If we have any additional days we, will need to evaluate the make-up days and also our total hours of instruction to make sure we are in compliance with DPI mandates,” he said.
The Delavan-Darien School District had one snow day built in but has used three. It might have to make up one or two days.
Superintendent Bob Crist will discuss the issue with the school board at its next meeting.
The Elkhorn School District has three snow days built into the calendar, and it has used all three.
If another snow day is called, the day will be made up at the end of the year, Superintendent Jason Tadlock said.
Evansville schools have three snow days built into the calendar, and Tuesday was their third weather-related cancellation, Superintendent Jerry Roth said.
The Parkview School District has four snow days built into its schedule, and Tuesday marked its third weather-related cancellation, Superintendent Steve Lutzke said.
He joked they were hoping for cold and snow only on the weekends.