December 20, 2014

GE, SH districts not planning to extend school year due to snow days

Danedri Thompson
dthompson@gardnernews.com
Snow days are built into the Gardner Edgerton School District calendar. If there were no snow days this year, the school year would end on May 21. However, the final day of school is now set for May 23.
The Spring Hill School District isn’t planning to extend the school year at this point, but Christine Splichal, the district communication director, said they will reassess how many hours students have been in class and make a final determination in a few months.
The state of Kansas requires that students be in class 1,116 hours for a school year.
“At this point, there’s no movement to extend the school year, but we will be double checking after we get through the next several weeks of possible inclement weather,” Splichal said.
The Gardner-Edgerton district will likely examine its hours closely if there are any more school cancellations.
Christy Ziegler, interim district communications director, explained that when the district drafted its 2013-2014 calendar, it built in two extra days. Depending on the number of cancellations, the school year could have ended on May 21, May 22, or May 23. The provisional days tacked on to the end of the calendar allowed the district to cancel school up to four days without having to review the calendar. School has now been canceled four days this school year.
“We’ve used what we built into the current calendar,” Ziegler said.
Last week’s cancellations didn’t just limit classroom time. It also meant the cancellation or rescheduling of several extra curricular activities. For example, one presentation of a Gardner Edgerton High School play, “12 Angry Jurors” was canceled. Students presented the show on other nights.
“There were events that were canceled and there was a long list of events that were simply postponed and rescheduled,” Splichal said of Spring Hill School District activities. “Unfortunately, there were a handful of events that were canceled. It is very difficult sometimes to find open dates, especially when it involves other schools for athletics and other activities.”
Despite the closed schools, Splichal said the district’s athletic and activities directors, Jeff Miller and Aaron Todd, worked throughout the snow and cold working with coaches and sponsors trying to get things rescheduled.

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