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State of Indiana Considering Options for Making Up Snow Days

(Dave Westrich)

This winter’s ice and snow affects anyone with kids in the household, plus adults who work in any of the school corporations.  Since both of my kids are still in public schools and Jenny teaches in one, we are affected by the snow days that will have to be made up.  Interestingly enough, one of the options being offered by the state is a situation I would propose every year to my students in regard to a regular school week.  I’ll explain more…

An option being offered to make up days missed this year is for kids and teachers to go each day for an hour longer.  Each six days of school with an additional hour tacked on would equal a missed school day.  This really doesn’t seem too bad considering the alternative is for schools to remain open past Memorial Day weekend.  Of course, the learning that takes place after that weekend is next to nothing.  I know this from first-hand experience.

I used to pose this question to my kids every year, “What if you (students) came to school an hour longer each day and in exchange for that, every week would only be a 4-day school week?”  This was actually possible in my school corporation because our school days were longer than the state required.  With the “bank time” we had, plus the extra hour, it would be possible to do this.  (Unfortunately, the state requires a certain number of “days” not hours, so it wouldn’t happen unless the state approved it.)  The student response to this scenario was always positive.  Once they heard that they could have a 4-day week with 3-day weekends every week, they were ready to implement the idea immediately.

In the snow day makeup scenario, however, the idea loses it’s appeal.  Neither Elliot or Emily liked the idea, but Jenny did.  The other option, which my two children like, and I have a feeling that most students would like, as well, is to get weekend instruction via the Internet on Saturdays.  Sure, most students would rather not make up anything and I can’t say that I blame them.

The one thing that is for sure, though, is that the State Board of Education has agreed to lengthen the period of time that the applied skills portion of the ISTEP test can be given.  This is a necessary first step since much instruction time has been lost and it’s possible that many children won’t be ready to take the test.  Jenny was just stating this the other day.  Teachers need more time to teach before the test is given.  I know that if I were still teaching, I would be feeling the same way.  Now, speaking as just a parent, I want my kids to have more time to learn before they’re tested.

As far as how they make up time that was lost?  We’ll have to see how that all works out.

 

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