Supt. Greg Power’s most recent blog post:
Finally: An answer about calamity days
After nearly three months of debate on what was supposed to be “fast-tracked” legislation, Ohio lawmakers have finally taken action to provide a few extra calamity days for schools.
And, as has often been the case with directives coming out of Columbus, the solution they have proposed is rather convoluted.
Among the key provisions of the amended version of House Bill 416:
- Districts may add four calamity days to the current five days that do not need to be made up, but to be used only after districts have used four of their required contingency plan days;
- Boards of education may add 30-minute increments to existing school days to make up additional days.
From this, it appears that we will be required to make up four of the five extra days we have used thus far. (We have used a total of 10.) Our “contingency plan days,” as the bill language terms it, have always been scheduled for the end of the school year.
When we learned of the bill’s passage, the district’s administration reviewed the options listed above, in particular looking at the possibility of adding 30 extra minutes the school days remaining in the fourth quarter. We believed this would be a “low-impact” way – for both our families and the district – to make up at least some of the four days we are required to. What we found is that there will be significant costs to choose this option:
- Five bus drivers would need to be added for end-of-day private/parochial routes where districts would be running on their normal schedule;
- Hourly employees of the district would accrue significant overtime hours for the remaining eight weeks of the year;
- Due to transportation schedules, A.M. kindergarten students may have fewer hours of instruction than P.M. students, who would get the full benefit of the extra 30 minutes.
After weighing all the options, we believe it is best to continue with our current plan to add these four days at the end of the regular calendar. This would mean that the last day of school for students would be June 5, 2014. It should also be noted that this bill also gives our seniors a break, permitting districts to allow graduating 12th-grade students to miss days they would otherwise be required to attend after the district’s scheduled graduation ceremony. That means the Class of 2014 won’t need to make up snow days since graduation is May 27.
I must take a moment here to thank all of our students and families for bearing with us through this record-breaking winter. We have all been frustrated by the number of days we have been out of the classroom, by the interrupted schedules and by being stuck indoors for nearly three months. We have never been more ready to get down to the business of educating Little Miami students and providing a quality learning environment.
Hopefully, on this first day of spring, we can put the winter of 2014 behind us. Little Miami is certainly ready!