New options for making up snow days


SULLIVAN, Ind. (WTHI) – School districts across the Valley are trying to figure out how to make up several days of school lost to bad weather.

The state superintendent is offering some unique options to Hoosier schools.

So far this winter, the Southwest Sullivan School District has taken nine snow days. Two of those days the state will waive and the calendar already had four snow days built into it.

Still, Sullivan has to tack on three days at the end of the year.

“Nobody can seem to get into any kind of routine and I think it’s making it difficult on everybody,” said Chris Stitzle, Southwest Sullivan superintendent.

Glenda Ritz, the state superintendent of public schools, announced Thursday the state will allow more time for schools to give the ISTEP exam.

The old window of March 3 through March 12 has now increased to March 21.

Stitzle said his staff is excited by this move by the state.

“We missed a lot of instructional time, and that’s going to give them more time to work with the children, and prepare them better for the test.”

Ritz also preliminarily laid out some options to help schools make up for lost time.

One option is to allow schools to lengthen their days by one hour. If a district does this for six school days, that district makes up one snow day.

Ritz also told the Indy Star about something she calls ‘conditional waivers.’ A district can give the state its plan to make up lost time and if the plan is approved, snow days will be waived.

Stitzle told News 10 he’s glad the state is thinking outside the box when it comes to making up snow days.

“There were 3 or 4 options that she talked about doing in order to make up snow days,” Stitzle said. “But I really don’t know all the details.  Until I see the details, I don’t really think I can answer the question.  I am excited about looking into it.  I think it’s got a lot of potential.”

Ritz also suggested weekend online instruction as a way to make up snow days.

Stitzle said that likely won’t work in Sullivan because too many kids don’t have access to the internet.

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