Schools may get more calamity days
Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff
Tuesday, 28 January 2014 17:32
There may be some relief for local schools who continue to cancel classes because of severe weather.
On Monday, Republican House members Tony Burkley of Payne and Brian Hill of Zanesville filed a proposal that would increase the number of calamity that a school district can use this year from five to nine days, according to today's Columbus Dispatch.
Soon after, Gov. John R. Kasich urged the Ohio General Assembly and Ohio Department of Education to work together on legislation providing a one-time increase in the number of days that schools can take off because of snow or bad weather.
Kasich said a one-time increase of just a few days is needed since so many Ohio schools have used-or are close to using-their five allowable calamity days due to the unusually severe winter weather this year.
Ohio law allows schools five calamity days a year before they must start adding days to the school year.
Kasich enacted legislation in 2011 increasing the number of calamity days from three to five.
Across Wood County, all districts have had at least five days lost, with more possible this week due to the frigid weather forecast.
Eastwood and Otsego have been hit the hardest, with both missing 11 days as of today
Bowling Green and North Baltimore have each missed 10.
Elmwood and Lake have missed nine and Northwood has missed eight.
Perrysburg has been out for seven days.
Rossford has used seven including Tuesday.
If schools go beyond their allotted five bad-weather days, they can make up no more than three through online lessons, but those take-home lessons need to be approved in advance by the Department of Education.
Eastwood implemented online coursework this year and got approval from the school board Monday to add another online makeup day.
After the district hit its fifth calamity day, it made up days six and seven using online lessons. The leaves the district currently only having to make up four days.
At Monday's board meeting, Eastwood also approved a resolutions to schedule a make up a day on Presidents' Day, Feb. 17, and give the superintendent the authority to cancel that should the governor forgive the extra lost days.
"This would bring us down to two days to make up on June 3 and 4. Obviously, any additional days would be tacked on in June," Superintendent Brent Welker explained in a community email.
With Saturday's fire forcing the closure Monday of classes, and the frigid temperatures today keeping students out of school, Welker is hoping better weather will allow buses to run again Wednesday.
"School closures can, of course, be an inconvenience but student safety always comes first. Many schools have already hit the maximum number of snow days, or will soon, and if they exceed it and have to extend the school year it can wreak havoc with schools budgets and schedules. Giving schools a few extra snow days this year will be helpful and let everyone stay focused on the top priority when weather hits, keeping kids safe," said Kasich.
This proposed increase would be for the current school year only.
Otsego, which also has been hard hit, will make up the lost days at the end of the school year.
"Spring break has not been an option," said Superintendent Adam Koch this morning.
Currently, the last day of school is set for May 30. If the extra days are not waived, students will go to June 6.
"We're still concerned about the temperature. We want to make sure our kids are safe," he stated.
(Sentinel Education Editor Marie Thomas Baird contributed to this story.)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 January 2014 08:19