Janesville67.8°

Snow make-up days must be scheduled

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FRANK J. SCHULTZ
February 27, 2008
— The Department of Public Instruction is saying “no” to a request from all eight Rock County public schools superintendents.

The superintendents asked that the DPI disregard the fact that the districts shut down on Feb. 6 and 7 for the snowstorm that dumped up to 20 inches of snow on the county.


DPI sent a letter Monday or Tuesday denying the request, DPI spokesperson Patrick Gasper said.


That snowstorm paralyzed travel and most public services those days. The sheriff’s department made the unusual request that the districts not hold school Feb. 7.


Circumstances were so unusual that the state should grant a waiver from the state’s law requiring 180 days in a school year, the superintendents argued.


That argument didn’t hold any water—frozen or otherwise—with DPI.


Now, the districts will have to make up those days. Options include holding school later in June, during spring break or on Saturdays.


Janesville’s Superintendent Tom Evert has indicated that he prefers Saturdays. Evert could not be immediately reached for comment.


Janesville has three days to make up. One will be added to the end of the school year, on Friday, June 6. The district can’t add any more days because summer school starts the next Monday.


Adding minutes to the remaining school days would not satisfy the 180-day law, a DPI official said.


Here’s how some other districts are handling their snow day loads:


-- Beloit Turner—Superintendent Dennis McCarthy said school will be in session May 5, a Monday day off that was set aside for snow-day purposes. That will be enough to satisfy the 180-day law because Turner had days built into its schedule


But Turner needs to make up hours at its elementary schools. To do that, it’ll add 10 to 15 minutes a day by cutting into the lunch and recess and starting at 8 a.m. instead of 8:05, McCarthy said.


-- Clinton—Superintendent Pam Kiefert said her district also had extra days built into its schedule, so it will have to add only one day on to the end of the school year.


So instead of Friday, June 6, being the last day of school, Clinton students will attend school Monday, June 9, Kiefert said.


-- Milton—The district had two snow days to make up. It already made up one on Friday, Feb. 22. The students were supposed to have the day off for conferences but instead attended class. The other day will be added to the end of the school year, Monday, June 9.


-- Edgerton—The district has two snow days to make up. It will add the days to the end of its school year, Wednesday and Thursday, June 11-12.


-- Albany—The district tentatively will make up four snow days at the end of the school year, extending it to Thursday, June 12.


-- Brodhead—The district tentatively will make up two snow days at the end of the school year, extending it to Monday, June 9.



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