Frequent snows pose challenge for school schedules

SNOW FUN
Children play in the snow at Holy Rosary School Friday, Feb. 7. Students at the school will have to give up days off later in the year to make up for days missed due to snow. Adam Rollins photo.
By: 
Adam Rollins
Staff Writer

There’s been an unusally high amount of “snow day” weather in the region this year, and no one knows that better than the staff and students at local school districts. 

More than a week’s worth of classes have now been lost to monthly bursts of snow and freezing rain.

Since November, there have been seven days that both the Warren County R-III and Wright City R-II school districts called off classes, along with several other schools in Warren County. 

Depending on the school, administrators are having to make some tough choices about how to make up those lost days.

R-III Superintendent Dr. Gregg Klinginsmith commented that this is the first year the district’s new four-day schedule leaves many Mondays open to replace snow days.

“We are making up snow days the earliest available Monday after the snow day,” Klinginsmith said. “We have learned that we need to give more than one week notice ... before scheduling the next snow makeup day.”

Having those days available means the R-III school year won’t be extended, Klinginsmith said. He added that some Mondays can’t be used as make-up days because they are reserved for staff professional development, which are a high priority for the district.

In the Wright City R-II District, Board President Austin Jones said students will attend class on Presidents’ Day. The board will discuss in February how to handle make-up days beyond that.

“We have Easter coming up. We usually take off Good Friday and the Monday after. Do we go those days? Do we cut into spring break?” Jones speculated. He said it will depend on how much time the district is required to make up.

Warren County’s smaller schools are also feeling the squeeze to make up for lost time.

“We build some (snow days) into each year’s calendar, but this is the first time in six years we have exceeded our extra days,” said Lori Racine, principal of Holy Rosary Catholic School. “We made up school on MLK Day, we will go again on Presidents’ Day and a day that was a teacher retreat ... and are also coming on Good Friday.”

It’s possible Holy Rosary will have to add a day or two to the end of the year if snow days continue, Racine said. 

In the southern end of the county, St. Ignatius Principal Lesa Leopold said her students have only missed four days.However, many more snow events could require losing days off during spring break to avoid extending the school year.

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