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Everyone remembers those early mornings sitting in front of the television or waiting for the phone call to announce a snow day. But there are a lot of decisions made behind the scenes that can affect the academic year.
Jason Dial, superintendent for the Bolivar School District, says a couple snow days before the winter holiday aren’t a surprise. He made the decision, with advice from the transportation department, to close schools Monday and Tuesday based on road conditions.
“We look at buses on our bus routes, but we look as well at high school kids that drive to school. So we have to make sure it’s safe for both parties,” Dial said.
But having these days off doesn’t mean the curriculum loses any time. It’s mandatory for school districts to have six make-up days built into their academic calendar, often right before summer.
If there are more than six days missed, there is a state provision that allows the schools to make-up only every other day without exceeding 10. Basically, there won’t be any more than 10 make-up days.
Luckily for most districts, the weather hasn’t interfered with testing yet, which will take place next week. However, snow days can have an impact on parent’s schedules, notes Springfield Public Schools Director of Communications Teresa Bledsoe.
“We know it’s a challenge for one group of people when either we cancel school or we don’t but we make that decision based on how it impacts our students,” Bledsoe said.
Most school programs are cancelled when classes are, but there are several agencies that offer snow day activities like the Ozarks Regional YMCA.
Make-up days are usually decided on after spring break when the winter weather has passed. For KSMU News, I’m Anna Thomas.