Dept. Of Education Gives Public Schools More Make-Up Day Choices
By Mike Perleberg
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Indiana schools scrambling to make up snow days now have some more options.
The Indiana Department of Education sent a memo to the state’s school districts Thursday. It outlined ways that schools can make up student instructional days for both non-waiver and conditional waiver days February 7 through June 30, in light of a punishing winter for much of the state.
“As Hoosiers, we always expect harsh winter weather,” said Glenda Ritz, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction. “However, this year’s storms have been extreme and have interrupted instruction for schools throughout the state. I have spoken with countless superintendents throughout the state and they have all asked for more flexibility for scheduling instructional time. I have heard their concerns, and I am happy to make these options available to our schools.”
Making up missed days was one of the topics discussed with Ritz when she visited with administrators at Lawrenceburg Community Schools on Wednesday.
Under the newly-announced options, school administrators can choose to reschedule holidays, flex days or professional development days without requesting a waiver from the IDOE. Saturday school or tacking on days at the end of the calendar are additional options.
Schools can also lengthen their student days and when they reach the minimum definition of an instructional day, can apply for a conditional waiver. An instructional day consists of five hours of instructional time for grades 1 through 6 and six hours of instructional time for grades 7 through 12.
For example, an elementary school could increase instructional time by going for a longer day. After five days, the extra time would equal one full instructional day.
Thursday’s IDOE memo only applies to public schools, because unlike private schools, they are financially penalized for not meeting the state-required 180 student instructional days.