Snow days push some school years into June

DEWITT — With the number of make-up days piling up like the snow, school days are developing far into June as area students will have to attend school later than usual to finish off the 2018-2019 year.

Here is a break-down of the number of days canceled due to weather thus far, and the projected last days of school — assuming there are no more snowdays — at three Clinton County school districts:

- Calamus-Wheatland: Number of days cancelled: eight. Projected last day of school: June 5. May 24 originally would have been the last day of school.

- Central DeWitt: Number of days cancelled: eight. Projected last day of school: June 12. May 31 originally was scheduled to be the last day of classes.

- Northeast: Number of days canceled: seven. Projected last day of school: June 3. May 28 would have been the district’s last day of school.

Calamus-Wheatland Superintendent Lonnie Luepker said Presidents Day, which is Monday, Feb. 18, will be used to make up one of the missed days of school. The remaining days will be added to the end of the year.

In an email to parents sent Jan. 28, Central DeWitt Superintendent Dan Peterson addressed some of the rumors regarding when weather-related cancellations would be made up, and how many days the district is required to make up.

“All of our make-up days will take place at the end of the school year,” Peterson wrote. “We will make up all of our days.”

Days will not be subtracted from the school’s spring break, slated March 15 to 22.

Peterson said the school calendar is planned well in advance; as a result, personal and vacation days for staff, students and their families are arranged according to the calendar.

In fairness to them, and to eliminate the confusion as to when missed days of school can be made up, Peterson said he is a proponent of making them up at the end of the year.

There is no “cap” on how many days of school must be made up. Per state law, any day that is missed must be made up.

Northeast Superintendent Neil Gray said his district has three make-up days built into its 2018-2019 school calendar — Jan. 21, Feb. 18 and April 23.

As of Thursday afternoon, that left the district with four days to make up, which pushed Northeast’s final day of school to June 3.

Northeast had no school Thursday, but substituted it with a required teacher in-service day.

While the current school calendar has 1,118 student instructional hours, the minimum state requirement is 1,080, so students will not be required to make up Thursday.

“Northeast teachers’ contracts require 190 days of service, which includes five paid holidays,” Gray noted. “So [Thursday] would be considered a fulfilled teacher contract day.”

He said that depending on possible additional snow days, Northeast will look to be creative and flexible in keeping in compliance with required student instructional hours and teacher contract days.