School superintendents prepare for potential make-up days

MECOSTA/OSCEOLA COUNTIES — While the temperature over the past two days has reached springtime highs, snow is predicted to fall in the area again before winter ends. With an eye on the forecast, local superintendents are adding up snow days and making preparations to potentially add a day or two to the end of the school year.

Schools are allowed up to six snow days before they are required to begin making up days or hours, superintendents said. If schools have had more than six snow days, they may have an opportunity to apply for a waiver for an additional three snow days.

“We’ve had seven snow days so far,” said Crossroads Charter Academy Superintendent Christopher White. “As of now, I have one day we have to make up. This time of year probably worries me the most — the icy, rainy weather that can close school quickly. More than likely, we will have to make up a few days.”

Without counting the one snow day CCA will need to make up, White said the last day of school is scheduled for Wednesday, June 6. He expects another snow day or two, pushing the the last day of school through the first full week of June. White hopes to not have to make up snow days into the second week, starting on Monday, June 11.

Big Rapids Public Schools also has had seven snow days.

“At this point, we anticipate making up one day,” said Superintendent Tim Haist, noting the number of days may change by the end of the winter season.

Schools are required to complete at least 180 days, or at least 1,098 hours, of instruction per school year, according to the Michigan Department of Education.

Chippewa Hills Schools District has not exceeded their allotted six snow days.

“We’ve had six snow days and if it is still a bad day, we’ll cancel school,” Superintendent Bob Grover said. “Days are called off based on the safety of the kids.”

Also at six snow days is Evart Public Schools.

“We are doing okay. We have quite a few extra minutes,” said Superintendent Shirley Howard. “I’m praying for the spring weather to continue.”

Ideally, the schools won’t have any more cancellations, said Morley Stanwood Community Schools Superintendent Roger Cole.

“We’ve used our fair share of snow days,” he said. “We have had nine — four (in February), three in January and two in December.”

Cole said the schools also sent students home after lunch early in the academic year due to a power outage. With three days over the allotted limit, Cole plans to apply for a waiver. Even if the schools remain in session for the three extra days, Cole said MSCS should release students for summer break earlier than other local districts as Morley Stanwood pupils began the year earlier than their peers.

The last day for seniors throughout Mecosta and Osceola counties is scheduled earlier than underclassmen. With potential make-up days in the future, seniors will be finishing their year even earlier as they are not required to be in class for make-up days.

Reed City Area Public Schools did not respond to requests for information.

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Posted by Meghan Gunther-Haas

Meghan is the education reporter for the Pioneer and Herald Review. She can be reached at (231) 592-8382 or by email at mhaas@pioneergroup.com.

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