Snow days may result in longer year for northern Michigan schools
Schools in northern Michigan await a decision on how they will handle the many school cancellations so far this winter. Due to the intense weather, schools have been forced to cancel for the day, be delayed or let out early in some cases.
Benzie County Public Schools have had at least nine snow days, but the school calendar only prepares for six. Traverse City and Cadillac area schools have also used more snow days than planned for and now officials are dealing with how to make up the lost school time. This can be done by shortening a planned break, adding days to the school year or making each school day longer.
Mancelona Public Schools have also gone over their allotted number of snow days, and most likely will extend their school year by adding days on.
In some circumstances, the Michigan Department of Education will waive any snow day make-ups and not add days at the end of the year. However, many schools value the students' time spent in school and are prepared to extend the year to recover days lost due to weather.
According to TCAPS Human Resources Executive Director Chris Davis, completely forgiving all the snow days used would not be the best option for students in terms of time spent in the classroom. Some school boards are postponing the decision on how to handle the excessive snow days this year until April.
Many school officials also point out that every time school was cancelled, it was as a safety precaution. Davis says sometimes it is hard to make the call if the weather doesnâ??t seem too bad early in the morning however if the forecast calls for bad weather they must make a decision.
On days like yesterday when the weather quickly turned to heavy snow, it was the right decision.
Steps are already being taken to handle the many school cancellations as of February but as the Superintendent of Cadillac Area Public Schools Joann Spry says, â??We still have a lot of winter ahead of us.â??
7&4â??s Meghan Morelli is talking to more school officials and will have more on the story today.