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School district scrambles to make up snow days

By James Grob,

At Monday’s meeting, the Charles City Community School District Board of Education approved a tentative plan to make up the four days the district lost last week to winter weather.

Superintendent Mike Fisher presented the plan to the board, which approved it unanimously. The plan will be adjusted if more school cancellations are necessary in the coming weeks.

“Here’s the problem — it’s only February. There are more snow days coming,” Fisher said. “If we tack on five snow days to the end of the year, we’re going to be into the second week of June. That gets rough on kids, and we have an un-air-conditioned high school, so we want to be cognizant of that.”

After running the plan by teacher groups, administrative groups and parent groups, Fisher recommended the district use some of the extra hours built into the schedule to forgive one day.

Then the district will have partial school days on three days that had been previously scheduled for inservice — Feb. 18, March 29 and April 19. On those days students will be let our early and teachers will stay for the remainder of the day to complete their required professional development. Early dismissal times on those dates will be 12:50 p.m. for secondary students and 1 p.m. for elementary students.

There will also now be two additional teacher workdays added at the end of the school year. At this point, there are no instructional days for students being added at the end of the school year. That could change if there are additional days where classes are cancelled because of weather.

“The bottom line is we still anticipate some snow days,” Fisher said. “I hope not, but we have to be realistic.”

Fisher said the district will also add two teacher “flex days,” where teachers can make up 16 hours of instruction time after contract hours on weekends or at professional learning at the AEA in June, after school is out.