February 25, 2013

Wichita schools’ snow days won’t affect spring break

Don’t worry about having to change your spring break travel plans.

Don’t worry about having to change your spring break travel plans.

Wichita district officials say they plan to evaluate the need to make up school days lost to weather cancellations after all the snow days are through.

But “this will not impact spring break,” district spokeswoman Susan Arensman said in an e-mail Monday.

The school district calendar is based on the required number of students contact hours – 1,116 – not days, Arensman said. The district’s contract with its 4,000 teachers calls for 190 days.

“Once the heavy winter weather season settles down, we will evaluate our schedule and make adjustments if necessary,” Arensman said.

Arensman said district officials discussed holding school Monday morning and releasing early, but “we made the decision not to have school based on weather conditions that were forecast” Sunday evening.

“There were predictions of snow to arrive at 9 a.m., with heavy conditions around noon,” she said. “We decided it was in the best interest of student safety to have students stay home for the entire day than to have buses, parents and high school students driving in blizzard conditions on the way home.”

In 2011, when the Wichita district canceled classes six days for snow, only high school seniors were required to attend school for additional days. Those days were tacked on just prior to commencements in May.

Some elementary schools made up hours that year by having school for a full day during parent-teacher conferences rather than releasing students early.

The remainder of this year’s Wichita school district calendar includes two inservice days, two non-teaching duty days and one conference release day. The last day of school is May 22.

Randy Mousley, president of United Teachers of Wichita, said, “It’s premature to try to figure out what the ramifications of these snow days will mean. … When we have a clearer picture, we will communicate it out.”

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