Cold day make-ups tweak schedule for Stillwater Area Schools

The Stillwater School Board met Feb. 6 to consider how to make up instruction time lost due to cold weather in January. School was canceled five days in January because of the cold.

The board decided that school would be in session on Monday Feb. 17.

The district posted the following statement on its website:

School for all of our students (except Valley Crossing Community School) will be in session on Feb. 17, which was previously planned as a professional day for staff. All classes and programs that normally meet on Mondays will be held that day, including early childhood and preschool classes. The make-up day will ensure our schools meet the required instructional hours, as defined by state statute. We recognize that adding a day to the calendar may create scheduling challenges to families, and we encourage you to work with the building principal should special arrangements need to be made.

“It’s always tough to make up days,” Board Member Mike Ptacek said. “We didn’t want to go too far into summer, and we didn’t want to take anything from spring break because we know a lot of people already have their plans set. Feb. 17 would’ve been a teacher workshop day, and we had a little concern because of the short timeline. But we made a decision that we felt would be the least painful.”

In addition to school being in session Feb. 17, two late starts at the high school will be eliminated to reach the full number of required hours.

Late start days take place every Wednesday morning at the high school, according to district spokeswoman Carissa Keister. The school day starts 15 minutes later, while students arrive at the school at the same time in the morning and do some activities before going to class.

“There are a certain number of hours that are required by the state for our students,” Keister said. “We are always over that amount at the start of the year. In making up the hours, we base the timing on the high school hours. Feb. 17 and the two late starts will meet our requirements.”

Ptacek said the changes are similar to what other schools in the area have done.

Should an additional weather-related school closing occur yet this year due to cold or snow, the board has designated Friday, April 18, as the make-up day. April 18 currently is slated for teacher conference grade reporting days, according to Keister.

Contact Avery Cropp at [email protected]