After battling Mother Nature to hold class, the Department of Education is giving Indiana schools some leeway in making up for lost time.
State superintendent Glenda Ritz announced Feb. 7 that schools could seek waivers from the requirement that students attend school 180 days in an academic year, though students still have to make up the instructional time in some format. The extreme weather this winter has forced many corporations to cancel school more often than usual.
“This winter’s been a challenge,” said Randy McCracken, superintendent of Western School Corp. “I appreciate the patience of our teachers, parents and students.”
Western already received a state waiver for canceling Jan. 7, has a built-in make-up day on March 21 and now will hold class on Monday, President’s Day.
With six more days to compensate for, Western — and all Indiana schools — now has the option of holding class on Saturdays, organizing e-learning days on Saturdays, adding an hour to six school days to equate to one instructional day or tacking on the missed days at the end of the school year.
Tipton Community School Corp. is exploring ways to make up eight of the 10 snow days the district has taken this winter; a state waiver already was granted for two days.
“We’ll see how and if the options work for us,” said Superintendent Kevin Emsweller. “Right now I think we’re in a good position [to put make-up days at the end of the year].”
With no built-in snow days in its calendar, Tipton Schools generally plans to add any make-up days to the end of the year, which would put the end of classes at May 30, if there are no additional snow days.
Emsweller planned to discuss the matter with administrators at a meeting this week and bring it up with parents at a public forum scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 24 in the community room at the elementary school.