Just because you missed six days of school doesn’t mean you’ll have to make up six days of school.

The Janesville School Board will vote Tuesday on a proposal to use one of two snow reserve days and two teacher professional development days to cover the six days lost to snow, ice and subzero temperatures.

Yes, your math is correct: one plus two make three, not six.

Janesville students already get more instructional hours than the state Department of Public Instruction requires—so much so that the remaining three days will not have to be added to their school schedules, Superintendent Steve Pophal said.

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction requires students in kindergarten through sixth grade to get 1,050 hours of instruction. Students in seventh through 12th grade must have 1,137 hours of instruction.

Janesville students in kindergarten through fifth grade currently receive up to 40 more hours than the requirement. Middle and high school students get 25 to 35 more hours.

The DPI does not count lunch periods, and only 30 minutes of recess can be included. Janesville school days are between 6 hours, 40 minutes long and 7 hours,20 minutes long.

The additional school hours will get students to the required minimum, district officials said.

District spokesman Patrick Gasper stressed that the district is interested in educational quality rather than regulated quantity.

That’s one of the reasons officials didn’t add time to the end of the school year or a few minutes to each day. In an interview Thursday, Pophal said such methods don’t yield “good instructional outcomes.”

Instead, the board will vote on a plan that will add these days to the calendar, according to a memo from Assistant Superintendent Scott Garner:

  • Wednesday, March 6, originally designated as a staff professional development day.
  • Monday, April 22, originally designated as a staff professional development day.
  • Friday, May 24, designated as a reserve snow day.

In addition, the board will be asked to change other days, including:

  • Wednesday, June 12, from a snow reserve day or teacher work day to a staff professional development day. June 12 is the day after the last day of school. Teachers often use this time to finish grading tests and do other end-of-the-year work.
  • Thursday, June 13, then would become the teacher work day.

If more snow days occur, district staff suggested changing Friday, March 29, from a staff development day to a school day.

If even more days are needed, staff suggested changing June 12 back to a snow reserve day.

The final option would involve lengthening the school day.

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