Update 8:22 p.m.: School Board Gives OK
Jefferson County Public Schools students are to be in class on Feb. 24 and Feb. 25, although the dates were initially on the academic calendar to be off days.
The change is being undertaken because of eight missed school days because of winter weather.
The recommendation was made by the district’s calendar committee, which is made up of school district staff and community members, said Michael Raisor, JCPS’s chief operating officer. Raisor noted that district will ask principals to be understanding for families that had made plans for Feb. 24 and Feb. 25. He said principals have discretion in such matters, however.
Raisor called the weather this year “unprecedented.”
Board Member Linda Duncan expressed concerned about going back on a prior commitment to the calendar, and parents who already made plans for the days off. She was the lone vote against the change.
“We said we wanted to give them something more predictable, and we did—we gave them something more predictable, but now we immediately switch,” Duncan said. “I know people do make plans around these calendars.”
“We are not in charge of the weather,” said board chairwoman Diane Porter, who said it was important to have the extra week of instruction.
Earlier: The Jefferson County Board of Education is expected to vote Monday night on changing the school calendar because of the unusual number of missed days this academic year.
So far, JCPS has closed schools because of winter weather eight times. It’s the most since a fall wind storm and then winter weather caused students to miss 10 days during the 2008-09 school year.
JCPS builds in “make-up days” into its calendar. But even with those, as matters stand JCPS students’ last day of class would be June 11.
At the beginning of the school year, students were scheduled to be out of class on Feb. 24 and Feb. 25 (and other days that week, which were designated “make-up days”). Under a plan on the agenda for Monday evening’s school board meeting, JCPS students would now go to class on those days.
This would make the last day of the school year June 9.
That’s a Monday, meaning the subsequent days that week would be used if JCPS has to call off classes again this academic year.
Here’s the agenda item’s detailed outline of what would change, if the school board OKs it:
The proposed changes to the 2013–14 school calendar are as follows:
- Reschedule the February 24, 2014, Parent Teacher Conference Day to two evenings to be scheduled at the school’s discretion;
- February 24, 2014, becomes a student attendance make-up day;
- Reschedule the February 25, 2014, Flexible Professional Development Day to May 20, 2014, (Primary Election Day);
- February 25, 2014, becomes a student attendance day;
- Due to the cancellation of school on Wednesday, February 5, June 6 will be used as a student attendance make-up day. This would then make June 6 the last day for students and June 9 the last day for teachers;
- Any additional missed school days will be made up in the following order: June 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.
Note, the agenda item doesn’t take into account Monday’s school closure because of winter weather.
We’ll update this story Monday evening should the school board make a decision.