CLYDE – Winter has not been friendly to Ohio schools this year.
Entering the second week in February and the students in the Clyde-Green Springs school district are struggling to have a full week of classes since resuming classes in early January following winter break. Exams for the high school were pushed back from Tuesday Jan. 21 to Thursday Jan. 30 due to snow days.
The state gives the Clyde-Green Springs schools five calamity days each school year and any days missed after they have exceeded the five need to be made up by the district. Superintendent Dave Stubblebine said the district has already missed ten days due the weather conditions of snow, ice, extreme wind chill and drifting.
Students missed classes on Dec. 9, Jan. 6 through 9, Jan. 21, Jan. 27 through Jan. 29, and Feb. 5. At its last meeting on Jan. 29, the Clyde-Green Springs Board of Education passed a resolution allowing teachers to put lessons online for three of the missed days to avoid having to make up more days at the end of the year. The plan is allowed under Ohio Revised Code section 3313.88. Grades 6-12 will use a program called “Virtual Classroom” to complete their lessons. The elementary grades will have worksheets posted online. If students don’t have computer access at home, teachers can print out the lesson for the student. The district is calling the kits “Blizzard Bags” said District Treasurer Joyce Dupont.
With the use of these online instructional days the district would be able to make up three of the additional calamity days it has already used - leaving only two days to make up at the end of the school year.
While Ohio Governor John Kasich has urged the Ohio General Assembly and the Ohio Department of Eduction to look at considering a one-time increase in the number of calamity days because of this year’s unusually severe weather, Dupont said the state not officially done anything yet. If the state steps in and allows hard-hit districts a few more calamity days, that will cut down on the number of days the district must make up. Right now, the last day of school is scheduled for June 5, but with the two additional make up days right now, students could be going to classes through the second week of June.
“Our goal is to not push back the June 1st graduation for the seniors,” Stubblebine said.
Seniors have a little more leeway as they are allowed three days less school time.
In the 2014-2015 school year, the Ohio Department of Education will convert days to hours and get rid of calamity days, Stubblebine said.
Instead of using the standard 182 days to make up a school year, students in grades grades 7 through 12 must complete 1,001 hours of instruction, and students in the lower grades must complete 910 hours of instruction.
Stubblebine said next year the district has already scheduled students for 130 hours above the requirements to avoid running into a problem of having to make up too many days again.
Bradley Massman can be reached at 419-547-9194. Follow him on Twitter @bmassman22 and @ClydeEnterprise.