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Snowmageddon Fallout

What Happens Now To Missed Days?

Julia Stalnaker

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Southridge students enjoyed an extended break courtesy of this year’s severe winter storms. But having such a long break left many students wondering, will we have to make up days later on? Until recently, the answer was ‘Nobody knows.’ However, the Beaverton School District has now addressed the issue and proposed a solution.

To recap, on Wednesday, January 11th, the Beaverton School District made a post on Facebook that the decision is complicated by  logistics, contractual obligations, and state requirements. As of January 17th, we have accumulated  a total of nine snow days, with two of those already built into the school calendar. That means the equivalent of about seven snow days must be made up, which left the District with their work cut out for them to come up with a solution that meets all requirements.

Oregon law requires schools to provide a set number of instructional hours per year. For high schoolers in grades nine through eleven, the required number is 990, and for twelfth graders it’s 966. This law is in place so that schools are forced to meet their responsibility of educating students. However, the Oregonian reports that districts can request a waiver from the state that would allow them to skip missed school days. While this is technically an option, it is never a likely one as the newspaper also reports that the state is unlikely to grant such a waiver — especially when Oregon already has some of the shortest school years in the country.

So what did the district decide? First, finals have been pushed back to the week of February 6th. The snow days did seem to bring about some stress, by throwing many people off of their schedules. Not all of that can be taken away, but this decision offers some relief for the students who worried about the end of the first semester being abruptly cut short.

Beside adjustment to the finals calendar, the school district is also changing the length of finals days. Traditionally, finals week consists mainly of half days, but now these have been changed to full school days. This might not be what students were hoping for, but this alone gives us back three school days. February 3rd, March 10th and June 22nd have also now become school days. For those counting, this only adds up to six more school days. In a message from Superintendent Grotting, it was explicitly stated that calendar adjustments will be “restoring six (6) instructional days for students,” but no reason for a lack of a seventh day was given.

Superintendent Grotting also wrote that “It is important to note that eliminating critical time for teachers to participate in professional development, meet with students and parents and assess student progress has been a painful decision, as it also impacts the quality of instruction for our students and communication with parents.”

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