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Snow Day Update

February 18, 2014
Parker Road near Pleasant Lake earlier this morning.

Parker Road near Pleasant Lake Road earlier this morning.

With the closing of school today, February 18th – we now have passed the allowable number of days that are waived by the State of Michigan.  To put it simply, this one needs to be made up.  With a good month of possible inclement weather including snow and ice, we will not make a formal announcement regarding our plan to make up the missed day(s).  The State Board of Education issued a statement last week, advocating for making up days vs. adding time to the remaining days.  It is unclear what our options will be at this point.  There is pending legislation regarding the adding time option.

I do want to caution families and staff members, it is very likely that we will be going to school at least a part of the week of June 9th.  For planning purposes, I would keep that week open until we know more.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Melissa Kolasinski permalink
    February 18, 2014 8:23 am

    Adding minutes amounts to nothing as far as quality instruction time. For what it’s worth, this parent votes for made up days, even though they are a bit of a “bummer”.

  2. Anne Taritas permalink
    February 18, 2014 9:09 am

    My thoughts are to have make up days, not minutes. Our children’s education is more important than “just doing time, they are not prisoners” we should be doing quality work and mot just doing our time” We need to make education a value in our lives, if we were to miss a sport game we wouldn’t just add minutes on to the remaining games. We need to let’s our kids know that their education is important to us and their furniture!

  3. Sarah T. permalink
    February 18, 2014 9:29 am

    I understand Melissa’s point, but also feel that quality instructional time in June can be challenging. Particularly if adding time results in a half day on a Monday. I would also be concerned about having enough students attend for that day to count. Let’s hope we are done with snow days for the school year!

  4. Kimberly C. permalink
    February 18, 2014 10:44 am

    Adding another day doesn’t make any sense. That added day will not have any instruction time, there will be no math tests, no history lesson, grades will have been turned in…..that last day will consist of picnics, games, parties, goofiness. I would much rather personally tack on time to their school day between now and the end of the school year to make up that quality instruction time than add on another day so my kids can have another picnic.

  5. H.G. permalink
    February 18, 2014 1:24 pm

    What about having the kids go to school on of the Spring Break days instead?

  6. February 18, 2014 2:52 pm

    From one High School teacher’s perspective, we must keep in mind that “made up days” will not restore lost time in the 2nd trimester, that time seems to be lost forever–unless the 2nd trimester exam dates are moved back. Made up days will only add days to the 3rd trimester. That is fine, but seniors have already left and classes are reviewing for final exams by then. In our current calendar, Tri 3 was cut short a bit, so the made up days could serve to move us closer to the number of days the trimester should have had in the first place, but since September 2013 we did not expected to have that time.

    I disagree that “minutes” cannot be quality instructional time (reasons stated in above comments seem reasonable) but they are less practical. It would make the bell schedule terrible if we rotated the minutes evenly into different periods instead of just making last period longer, or something like that). As a teaching professional I can assure you that if I am given minutes OR days, it will be quality instructional time in my classroom 🙂

    A last practical concern is for families that have already made summer plans for the second week of June. Although it is thoughtful for the district to send a polite warning to “plan to have school”, the warning is a moot point for all the people who made plans months ago. I can’t think of a single vacation where folks plan to leave town the 2nd week of June that would not have to be made months on advance with little ability to change the dates. My guess is that is why Lansing opted to allow “minutes” after the first round of snow days.

    If it ends up being just one day, the district may choose to opt for made up “minutes” due to fiscal concerns of opening school for just one day into a new week. I also hope we are done with snow days!

  7. Anne Callison permalink
    February 20, 2014 4:05 pm

    As an elementary teacher I am advocating for extra minutes, not because I will miss part of my summer break, but because I need time to catch up now. I have not made any plans for the first week because it is a good time to pack up and clean out my classroom. We are well behind where my class would normally be in math by this point in the year. (6-7 lessons!) If I have more time in the day we can get more lessons finished now while it really matters. A day or two in June will not help us finish the program on time.

  8. February 21, 2014 8:16 am

    I want to clarify, that at this point we are not allowed, by State Law to add time to the remaining days. We are not allowed to have fewer student days than we had in 2009-2010 (175 days) – other than the allowable 6 Act of God days. There is pending legislation to allow districts to add time, however, it has not been acted upon and the State Board of Education, State Superintendent and Governor Snyder’s Office have all indicated opposition to adding “minutes” to the remaining days. At this point, (Feb 21st) we have two days of instruction to make up.

    • February 24, 2014 2:23 pm

      For schools on trimesters, it is incumbent upon the administration to determine if the “added days” would be better served in the 2nd trimester (we have lost 8 days) or the third trimester (it is 5 days shorter than trimesters 1 and 2 as agreed upon by the central administration and the Saline Education Association before the start of the school year). As a high school teacher, I can adjust my lessons for the third trimester if I know well in advance that I will have less days to teach. However, it is much more difficult to “adjust on the fly” the lessons for trimester #2 when those days are lost little by little and don’t know until three weeks before the end of the trimester when the last day will be lost (are we even done yet?) We must keep in mind that classes of upper classmen will see the seniors leave weeks before the third trimester ends. Any days added to the end of the year will not serve the seniors (25% of the students at the high school).

  9. C.D. permalink
    February 24, 2014 1:47 pm

    It sounds like the fact that all of the snow days so far have fallen in the second trimester is a big issue. Currently, there is a 1/2 day scheduled for 3/13 and No School for 3/14. Does it make sense to eliminate that time off and add for the snow days there? That would lengthen the second trimester a bit and eliminate or at least lessen the amount that may have to be added in June. Adding in June will also be inconvenient for those that have planned graduation parties based on their younger kids being done with school by the 6th.

  10. B. Sadek permalink
    February 24, 2014 1:52 pm

    I would second H.G.’s suggestion of going to school during some of the upcoming “off” days.

  11. A.W. permalink
    February 25, 2014 9:01 am

    Something must be done about extending this current trimester. As the parent of a junior, my child is feeling extreme stress from teachers (regular classes and AP) piling on homework to make up for time that has been loss – understandable but not the solution. In addition to this juniors have three days of testing next week including the ACT. Now with everything happening in the community it seems like extending the 2nd trimester at least 2-3 days and then going into the 2nd week of June would be a good solution. (Most schools in the area don’t end until June 13 anyway).

  12. April 3, 2014 8:13 am

    While I think the likelihood of another winter like this is low, it is possible and ice may become more common as weather patterns change. Maybe the addition of a day each trimester as a “buffer” day, that can become an on-the-spot vacation day if not used or used as a buffer for snow days, will allow teachers to plan for that missed day. It may limit the need to extend a trimester or incur additional June (aka checked out) learning. This would give you six act days plus 3 buffer days. The local school board and/or administration can then determine how to use those days with the community (putting some power back in the local decision body).

    While that buffer day does create planning challenges for parents for daycare and job schedules, if it’s known in August that those days (thinking the last day of the trimester – post exams) are planned to be days off but will be days on if needed to compensate for act-of-God days, then expectations can be set in August versus day of or end of trimester. It’s a shame that it means extending the year in June – versus allowing to start the school year the last week of August due to the state law indicating when local districts can choose to start school, but we will work with the cards we are dealt.

Trackbacks

  1. Snow Day Update II – Balancing the Trimesters | Scot Graden's Blog

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