Treacherous roads and extreme cold are to blame for the 10 days of school, which Chillicothe R-II schools have missed this school year, including Feb. 6.
Dr. Roger Barnes, superintendent, said in his memory this is the most days of schools students in the district have missed in the last eight years.
During the 2017-2018 school year, school was cancelled three days and had several late start days due to inclement weather or road conditions.
So far the school make-up days for this year have been set as: April 18 and 22; May 16, 17, 20, 21, 22 and 23.
Barnes noted that graduation will still be held on May 12, and seniors last day will remain as May 10. All students in grades 11 and below will finish classes on May 23.
With summer school scheduled to start on May 28, Barnes said there is some concern about any additional days off of school, due to weather, running into the scheduled May 28 summer school start date.
“There is a concern that the last make-up day could run into the summer school start date. The administrative team and board have not discussed what we will do as of yet if that happens,” he said.
At this point in the year and with the number of days called, off Barnes noted, “We are in a forgiveness mode now where we only have to make up one day for every two that we miss. This happens until we miss a total of 14 days. After that all days are forgiven. The maximum number of make-up days required will be 10 days.”
Late starts days, or early out days, typically allow students and teachers to meet the required daily attendance hours the Department of Elementary and Secondary Schools (DESE) has established. Those hours do not have to be made up.
In a recent school board meeting the board voted to approve the school calendar for the 2019-2020 school year. At that time it was noted that certain dates on the calendar, such as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and President’s Day would not be used as make-up days. Barnes said that may complicate the school calendar next year, should next winter be similar to this one as far as school cancellations go.
“All recognized holidays such as MLK Day and President's day are scheduled as days out of school without using them as make-up days. Should the district experience the same amount of inclement weather days, the calendar may become problematic given the start date of summer school,” he said. “Clear make-up day rules from DESE have not been given for school year 2019-20 and beyond just yet. The amount of time required to be in school from DESE has changed somewhat. Currently districts must attend 174 Days and 1044 hours. If a district attends 174 days or more, they must attend at least 3 hours per day to count as on of the 174 days. If a district attends less than 175 days, they must attend at least 4 hours per day to count as a day of school. This sometimes can make a difference when inclement weather happens after school has started. Next year there is not a specific day count, only a requirement of attending 1044 hours. That might give some relief at the end of the scheduled calendar if inclement weather such as this year is experienced.”