Kokomo — Howard County school children have enjoyed a little extra vacation this week due to the winter storm.
They’ll have to pay for those unexpected days off later, though, in order to meet the state requirement for 180 instructional days in a school year.
Many schools prepare for this possibility by building snow days into their calendars. If they are not out of school before the built-in days, those become days off. This winter, those will be days in school.
Eastern Superintendent Tracy Caddell said President’s Day was not originally a snow makeup day, but because Eastern has missed five days, it will be used for that purpose.
Without that day, the last day of school would be June 3, and graduation is tentatively set for June 5.
Eastern students will now be in school Feb. 21 and March 25 as snow makeup days, and if they don’t miss additional days, will be finished June 2.
Eastern was on a two-hour delay for today at Kokomo Tribune deadline.
Kokomo-Center Superintendent Jeff Hauswald said Kokomo students will use their two snow makeup days, May 9 and May 20, since they were out Tuesday and Wednesday.
Kokomo-Center returned to class Thursday, and Hauswald said nobody could remember any recent year they’ve had to use more than the two built-in days.
Any additional days missed would have to be added to the end of the year.
Northwestern also has exhausted its built-in snow days, according to Superintendent Ryan Snoddy, so any more days missed will have to be added to the end of the year.
He said graduation has not yet been scheduled.
Western’s students will use their snow makeup days and also will likely be in school May 31, Superintendent Peter O’Rourke said. So far, graduation is still set for June 3, he said.
In Miami County, Superintendent Doug Arnold said Maconaquah will use its two built-in snow days and extend the school year to make up the additional two.
That pushes the last day of school to May 27, with graduation on May 28,
“Unless we have any further snow days, we should be fine,” he said.
In the Kokomo area, it appears Peru students will be in school the latest. With five missed days and no built-in snow days, the last student day is June 8, according to Marcia Minard, assistant to Superintendent Chuck Brimbury.
Stephanie Sample, press secretary for State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett, said Bennett’s policy is that all days must be made up, and waiver requests are denied.
She said there has been interest in requesting waivers when the school’s county is under emergency orders that restrict travel.
“We have not granted waivers in these situations because we all know that if the weather has reached that serious point, schools would have made their decision to cancel school for that day anyway,” she said.
• Danielle Rush is the Kokomo Tribune education reporter. She can be reached at 765-454-8585 or email@example.com.