Ohio

Eye on Education

Why The Push for More Calamity Days Now Won’t Matter Next Year

clock Earls 37a

Earls 37a / FLICKR

Wednesday afternoon, the Ohio House did not pass a bill that would have increased the number of calamity days school districts can use during bad weather.

The Columbus Dispatch reports some Republican lawmakers in the House balked at the idea of giving students more days off, and paying teachers for days they didn’t work.

While school districts that have exceeded their snow days are waiting anxiously to find out if they need to make up that time before June, the legislature’s decision won’t have any impact on next school year.

Starting fall 2014, the school year will be measured in instructional hours not 182 days the way it is now.

A few things to know about the change:

  • Next year, half-day kindergartners must receive 455 hours, students in full day kindergarten through 6th grade must receive 910 hours, and grades 7-12 are required to get 1,001 hours
  • Community schools have to provide 920 hours of instruction
  • Schools will still be open five days a week
  • If a district doesn’t hit those hours due to snow days or any other calamity, the superintendent has more flexibility in deciding where to tack on extra hours to make up that time
  • Schools can give students so-called blizzard bags, or alternative lessons online or on paper that allow them to make up missed instructional time

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