Snow Days and the Calendar
The winter has certainly been “eventful” so far. Throughout northeastern Michigan the wet, heavy snow and ice have made this a season to remember. As of April 7th we have had 10 snow days!
Every year we get loads of questions about snow day make-ups and the end of the school year. Part of the confusion is that the rules have changed a few times over the years. It used to be that school districts were allowed a certain number of cancelled days, and any days missed after that had to be made up. Then the rules changed to count the number of hours missed instead of counting days – this was always a little more confusing.
All public schools are required to provide 175 days and 1098 hours of teacher instruction in a school year. The rules changed back to counting days or the hourly equivalent– we have 6 days (30 hours) of "grace" for days and/or hours lost to conditions not within the school’s control (weather, health, building issues). This means at present we have 4 days to make up. Options are limited which means the most logical place to put the days is at the end of the school year.
Here are some other key facts about snow days. Trivia buffs can amaze their friends with these fascinating tidbits:
- School cancellations caused by weather and other “acts of God” that occur after April 1 do have to be made up. This is a recent change.
- A district may request a waiver of 3 additional snow days from the State Superintendent. However, the district must show that there is a demonstrable hardship to make up the days beyond the 6 allowed. Lengthening the school year into June is not a hardship.
- In both the 2008-09 and 2012-13 school years, APS had 11 snow days – wow!
- The last day for seniors and the date of commencement do not change based on snow days.
- There is no financial benefit or incentive to have students attend school or to cancel.
When it comes to school cancellations student safety is the priority. We are a big district covering a lot of territory. We try to err on the side of caution when called snow days, and we don’t shy away from closing school just because we have to make them up. For more information about how we handle school cancellations, click HERE.