Many Oklahoma Schools Figure Out How To Make Up Snow Days

Monday, March 3rd 2014, 6:21 pm

Many districts are out of school and out of options after this most recent snowfall. Some are facing difficult decisions; after a string of snow days, it's now a possibility Green Country students will be going to class after Memorial Day.

Snow was still on the ground Monday night, some did melt earlier in the day, but a lot of that re-froze. And the worst part, winter still might not be done. There's always the chance for more snow as the month goes on, and that's the fear for most school districts, especially one that's already going to be in class until June.

The conditions are perfect for sledding. And while kids, like 11-year-old Kelsey Orrick, are enjoying the snow, they are over the snow days and ready to get back in the classroom.

"I wish we had less [snow days] so we could get out for summer more," Kelsey said.

Her dad, Justin Orrick, feels the same way, "It's tough because we don't have that many vacation days for as many snow days as they've taken already. Plus, all the other holidays that they're out."

Tuesday will be the eighth snow day for Tulsa Public Schools. The district has enough days built-in to account for seven. Kids will now be in class on the Friday before Spring Break, which was a parent teacher conference day. TPS will make up Tuesday by either adding extra minutes to the school days or tacking on an entire day.

"I'd rather have a full day, so I could have more in each class than just 30 minutes more in another class," Kelsey said.

TPS was scheduled to let out for summer on May 20, now it's looking like it will be May 28 or 29. Union Schools are also out of snow days, Tuesday will be number seven. The district is looking into how to make up the days, but said as of now school is scheduled to be in session through June 3rd.

See A List Of School Closings

Tuesday also makes for the seventh snow day at Broken Arrow and Jenks, both are over by one day. Jenks already had plans to tack on 30 minutes to each day through April 4th, so students wouldn't be in class until June.

The school said it may extend that through April into May, or add another school day.

Broken Arrow is also evaluating the best ways for it to make up the extra days. Many school leaders say they want to wait until after spring break to make any final decisions making up school days.

There are still some schools with days left over, like Sand Springs, Tuesday will be their sixth snow day and they still have one more left.

Many other schools are considering adding hours at the end of the day to make up the extra snow days.

Coweta plans meet Monday to discuss adding hours to the school day; the superintendent said that seems more likely than adding a day. Haskell has had ten snow days, and now plans to add minutes to the school day. And Eufaula and Kiefer are looking to add minutes to the day as well.

Some schools like Prue and Adair will tack any new snow days to the end of the year. Okmulgee originally considered adding time to the school day, but has now missed so much, that adding days to the end of the year seems more likely.

Many schools are combining the two options, or looking for a new plan. Pryor has already added minutes to the school day, and now plans to extend the school year by a day. Grove & Salina has already added hours to the school day, and needs a Plan B.

Westville is on its 18th snow day. It has added time to each school day, extra days at the end of the year and will go to school on some professional days. Inola, which also canceled for a wildfire/lost power day, has already taken away President's Day and have added on to the end of school.

But there are some schools that are still in good shape, as long as we don't have any more snow days. Sperry can miss Tuesday with no problem. Wagoner can miss Tuesday, plus one more day, with no problem and Berryhill can miss Tuesday along with two more days.

Okay built in some extra time, and Tuesday's snow day is the last one the district can absorb, while Jay has been out 14 days and can still miss two days with no problem.