Area Schools Come Up With Plans For Make-up Days

By Rachel Martin - 21Alive

Area Schools Come Up With Plans For Make-up Days

February 18, 2014 Updated Feb 19, 2014 at 11:32 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) – School districts across the area are coming up with plans to make-up snow days.

Huntington County Community School Corporation
The HCCSC Board of Trustees Wednesday night voted to extend the school day by one hour beginning March 3 through May 7 to make-up for snow days.

Garrett-Keyser-Butler Community School District
The Garrett-Keyser-Butler Community School District will utilize the eLearning waiver granted by the Indiana Department of Education to make-up the weather related days encountered this school year. The school district has a well-established 1:1 program where students can continue their education outside the traditional brick and mortar building. The Indiana Department of Education promotes this type of innovation and has granted the district’s Virtual Learning Application. The students in grades K-12 will engage in virtual learning days to make-up the lost instructional days due to the inclement weather. With the 21st century tools available to both students and staff, the district will carry-on learning on designated eLearning days. The students will be assigned specific learning targets and teachers will be available to provide guidance electronically. These days will then count towards the 180 student calendar.

So far the East Allen County School (EACS) district has missed 13 schools days, and Southwest Allen County Schools (SACS) has missed 12.

Both districts have make-up days built into their calendars, but those days aren’t enough for students to catch up.

On Tuesday night, the EACS Board approved adding eight days on the end of their school year making their last day June 6.

EACS also plans to extend their Teacher Collaboration days in March by 30 minutes, which would collectively make up for two school days.

Also Tuesday night, SACS decided to take a different approach by implementing eLearning, or virtual learning. Superintendent Dr. Stephen Yager says he will not cancel Spring Break, and has no plans to move graduation.

However, SACS will have add five days on to the end of their school year, and school will be in session on Good Friday. As of now, SACS last day is June 4.

In the meantime SACS students will take advantage of the eLearning option suggested by State Superintendent Glenda Ritz.

Through eLearning, elementary students will be able to make-up 25 hours of instruction time, and middle and high school students will make up 30 hours through the end of the year.

With eLearning, students can interact with teachers and fellow students, and complete projects and assignments online without ever having to leave their home on a snow day.

"If a snow day happens, we can easily shift over to an online instruction and online activities that continue learning for students and save families time where they've planned for vacations and other activities, and actually make a better use of the tools we have to help kids learn,” said Dr. Phil Downs, SACS Associate Superintendent.

SACS would like to implement eLearning into the curriculum on March 3, but the district needs approval from the Indiana Department of Education first. Dr. Yager and Dr. Downs say they will be in Indianapolis Wednesday to meet with Ritz on the matter.

Earlier Tuesday, Northwest Allen County Schools (NACS) Superintendent Chris Himsel sent a letter out to parents stating he plans to extend the school day to make-up for snow days.

Himsel says the district is already implementing the make-up days built into the school calendar. But, the letter stated the middle and high school days will be extended by an hour, and the elementary school day by 50 minutes, both for 24 days.

The extended days for NACS are as follows:

February 25, 26, and 27

March 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 24, 25, and 26

April 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, and 24

Himsel says he will not consider Saturday schools or altering Spring Break. As of now, the last day of school is scheduled for June 4, but Himsel says he will extend the school year, if necessary, depending on what might occur between now and the end of the year.

Fort Wayne Community Schools (FWCS) made this announcement on their Facebook page Tuesday:

"As we have now missed 12 days of school in the last two months, we are examining our options, looking at our schedules and determining exactly how we will make up all these days. We expect to have a detailed plan by Monday. We still have no plans to eliminate spring break."

FWCS officials also stated they will not be rescheduling graduation.

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