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      Superintendents weigh options for making up snow days

      Large amounts of snow, slick road conditions and frigid air have caused many northern Michigan school districts to rack up the snow days early this school year.

      With more chilly months still to come, superintendents everywhere are already starting to discuss how the students will get their days of education back.

      Leaders at Boyne City Public Schools say they've used five of their snow days. The state allows for districts to use up to six snow days before they have to start making them up.

      "One option would be to see if there's going to be any legislative relief," said Peter Moss, Superintendent for Boyne City Public Schools. "Two, perhaps as you work through your various employee groups you might find that you can add time to each day and over a period of time you can make up enough hours. Minutes make hours, and hours make days that you might be able to make up for the regular time. And another option would be that you add days at the end of the school year."

      Suttons Bay Public Schools in Leelanau County has used six snow days. They too are waiting to see what the state will have to say about allowing for some extra snow days. But if they are given the option of adding on minutes or days, Superintendent Michael Murray says he'd choose full days.

      "As far as the educational aspect of it, our students especially our young ones get tired at the end of the day," said Murray. "They're not as receptive to the learning as they are in the morning so the better option to me is to add days."

      Traverse City Area Public School leaders say they've used eight snow days so far this year. They've got some extra days already built into their calendars but they are waiting to make any final decisions on how to use them.

      "We have extra days built into our calendar so we'd have to get a little bit farther down the road before it becomes an issue," said Superintendent Steve Cousins. "If we get to that point we'd determine that after April 1, because the state uses a different formula for any days that you miss after April 1. So that would be our decision window. As we get closer to April 1 we may work with our employees to determine what the adjustment would be."

      Cadillac, Leland, and Ludington Public School leaders said they aren't sure how they will make up their days yet, and that they are also waiting to see what state leaders have to say about extending the number of snow days due to the harsh winter this year.

      Below is an updated list of some of the district's snow day counts:

      Cadillac Public Schools: 7

      Ludington Area Public Schools: 8

      Leland Public Schools: 6

      Traverse City Area Public Schools: 8

      Boyne City Public Schools: 5

      Suttons Bay Public Schools: 6