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Schools adapt to missed days

Alissa Widman Neese • Feb 6, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Sandusky Schools officials and the Ohio Department of Education have sorted out the confusion regarding today’s newly arranged day of classes.

Simply put: Although all Sandusky Schools students are required to attend class today, the seat time will not count toward making up days missed because of inclement weather.

Each Ohio district is required to adopt a calendar of at least 182 days, according to state regulations. Of those 182 days, two can be used for professional development, while five are permitted “calamity days,” leaving 175 instructional days.

Of those minimum 175 days, districts can request four additional “waiver days,” which are deducted from the 175 days, but still counted as days of classroom instruction. They’re typically used for staff meetings, as students are not in class, and are also known as “in-service days”

The two aforementioned professional development days can be switched to a makeup calamity day, but the requested additional “waiver days” — such as today at Sandusky Schools — cannot.

Nonetheless, today’s classroom time will hardly be wasted, Sandusky Schools chief academic officer Julie McDonald said.

“With all these cancellations, our students are missing out on a pretty hefty chunk of instructional time in front of our staff” McDonald said. “Those are precious hours”

As of Wednesday, the district had canceled classes a likely unprecedented 10 times this school year.

Because the state only allows its districts five free cancellations each school year, students must make up the other five days of missed instruction. Each Ohio district determines its own state-approved makeup plan. Sandusky Schools plans to tack on the makeup days to the end of the school year.

At this time, the district does not plan on utilizing an “alternative makeup plan,” such as blizzard bags, McDonald said.

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