As snow days pile up, schools prepare to make them up.

February 13, 2019

As snow days pile up, schools prepare to make them up.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

OCEANA COUNTY – Stormy weather this winter has caused school districts across the county to exhaust their allotted snow day total authorized by the State of Michigan, and school superintendents are hoping legislative relief will ease the pain of making up the missed days.

So far, Hesperia has had the most snow days with 12. Hart, Shelby and Pentwater have closed school 11 times, and Walkerville has had 10 snow days.

“We have cancelled school 10 times for weather-related incidents,” said Dr. Thomas Langdon, Walkerville Public Schools superintendent. “We are allotted six days, but can apply for an additional three days. We are reasonably confident that we will be successful in being granted the additional three days. That would put us one day over.

“We have been told that there is a good chance that we may be granted some additional days due to the state of emergency declared by the governor’s office. If the legislation does not come to fruition, then we will chart out a plan to make up the four days if we are not granted the waiver, and the one day if we are.”

State legislators are working on laws that would exempt schools from snow days during a state of emergency. The proposal followed reaction to a full week of snow days for most mid-Michigan schools, Jan. 28 to Feb. 1, when heavy snow and frigid temperatures hit the area.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency for three days that week when wind chills plummeted below -30 degrees.

State Rep. Ben Frederick (R-Owosso), announced this week that he is working on legislation that would allow schools not to count Jan. 30 to Feb. 1 as snow days.

“Here in Pentwater, as of today we have canceled 11 days,” said Dr. Scott Karaptian, superintendent/principal of Pentwater Community Schools. “Six of the 11 are forgiven for everyone, and we will also have to apply for the waiver from the state that will forgive an additional three days.”

Any additional snow days beyond the allotted amount will “more than likely” have to be made up at the end of the school year, Karaptian said. “There are some legislators looking to push for some additional days to be forgiven, but we cannot bank on that possibility and need to make a plan moving forward.”

“We will have to extend our school year into June based upon the total days closed due to the weather,” said Hesperia Community Schools Superintendent Vaughn White, whose district has had close school a dozen times this year.

“Hart has cancelled school 11 times due to weather-related conditions,” said Hart Public Schools Superintendent Mark Platt.

“We are allotted six days and have applied for the additional three days allowed via a waiver by the state. This would mean Hart has to add two days at the end of the year. It is plausible that legislative solutions could provide additional relief, but it is too early to know for sure.”

“Shelby has also cancelled school 11 times due to weather-related conditions,” said Shelby Public Schools Superintendent Tim Reeves. “We are also allotted six days and will apply for the additional three days allowed via a waiver by the state. This might mean Shelby has to add two days at the end of the year. We are also hopeful for legislative relief, but it is too early to know for sure.”

“I would like to have a conversation with Punxsutawney Phil, because I think he may have been pulling our leg on Feb. 2 (Groundhog Day),” Platt joked.

The situation with the repetitive snow days has been kind of like the classic movie, “Groundhog Day” – as if students and staff are reliving the same day over and over again.

This story is copyrighted © 2019, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

 

 

 

Area Churches

Subscribe to OCP via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 12,778 other subscribers