Schools plan to make up snow days
Local students will attend school two extra days in April to make up for lost instruction time during the recent snowstorms.
Students were originally scheduled to have Friday, April 5 and Wednesday, April 17 off of school so teachers could work on grades and conduct conferences with parents.
Students will now attend school those two days.
"We had built some additional instruction time in for the students in the schedule so we could at least minimize the effect on student instruction," pointed out Crook County School District Director of Curriculum and Special Programs Stacy Smith.
The district canceled school Monday, Feb. 25 through Thursday, Feb. 28 when the region was hit with late-season snow storms, dumping record-breaking amounts of snow and causing snowy and icy road conditions.
"What we're dealing with is four days of student instruction lost and four days of teacher contract time lost," Smith said earlier this week.
But because the district had already built two extra school days into the calendar in case emergency closures were necessary, they only had to come up with two additional days in order to meet the state's requirement.
District officials admitted that it took some creative planning and several attempts before they finally came up with an agreeable plan.
Now, students will attend school Friday, April 5, and teachers agreed do their grading outside of the regular school day.
"They really are going to be grading on a Saturday, Sunday, after school, and they agreed that they would work out of the regular school day so kids could come that day," CCSD Superintendent Sara Johnson pointed out.
Similarly, teachers will be in front of their students Wednesday, April 17. They will have parent-teacher conferences for 12 hours the following day.
Smith said teachers will also be required to work an additional eight hours of flex time that week in order to accommodate all parents in conferencing.
As originally planned, students will not have school Thursday and Friday, April 18-19.
"Next year, we are putting four days at the end of the school year in this light blue color on our calendar. We don't anticipate that our kids will actually go that long, but we are putting it in there as make-up days so that people don't make vacation plans," Johnson said. "In case we have weather like this again, we just know those days are the days we'll use, and it keeps us from having to work out all kinds of alternative approaches to making up time."
She said students will only attend school on those mid-June days next year if schools have to implement emergency closures.
"That will be a proactive approach," Johnson said. "I felt like we had to go to the drawing board and be creative in order to capture those contract days for teachers and a little bit for kids, too."