The Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township has decided Feb. 17 will be a make-up day for a school day lost during the recent snow storm and cold spell.
The inclement weather actually caused MSD Wayne to miss four instructional days the week of Jan. 6. In addition, the district missed an instructional day on Sept. 26, 2013, as a result of the procession for fallen Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officer Rod Bradway.
The corporation currently has two waiver requests filed with the Indiana Department of Education.
“I have filed a request to waive attendance on Sept. 26, 2013, and on Jan. 7, 2014,” Superintendent Jeff Butts said in a press release. “We are only permitted to request the waiver of instructional days missed which is why I did not request Jan. 6 (which was not an instructional day).”
The IDOE has indicated that no other missed days the week of Jan. 6 will be considered for waivers. Butts said he has a “high level of confidence” that the two other days will be waived, leaving MSD Wayne down three instructional days.
Every year, the MSD Wayne Board of Education approves an instructional calendar of 182 days, two more than the required 180 days in Indiana statute. That currently leaves the corporation with just one instructional day to make up.
The 2013-14 calendar approved overwhelmingly by staff vote and formally adopted by the Board of Education listed several options for make-up days: Jan. 20, the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday; Feb. 17, Great Americans Day; May 26, Memorial Day; extension of the school year; and Saturdays, if necessary.
Butts said the district chose not to hold school on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
“I did not believe it was appropriate or considerate for us to give 10 days’ notice to families and employees who already have plans for the upcoming three-day weekend,” he said. “I believe it is much easier to make alternative arrangements five weeks out than 10 days out. For this reason, Feb. 17 was selected as our first make-up day. For future calendars, we will be requesting that an additional statement be added to the calendar with a designated date by which each make-up day can be considered.”
The district’s administration has been working with the Wayne Township Classroom Teachers Association to plan for future make-up days that might be needed if inclement weather returns.
“The approved calendar lists several options, some of which are more appealing than others,” Butts said. “As we look at the end of the school year, our last day for students currently is Thursday, June 5. Our three graduations are scheduled for Saturday, June 7, which provides little flexibility. We can, and will, consider moving our graduation ceremonies if we are required to extend the school year beyond our current calendar.”
Butts added that while Memorial Day is listed as an option, it is one that has generated significant discussion and concern in recent days.
“Another option to consider is to hold school on a Saturday between now and the end of the school year,” he said. “The board could also consider approving instructional days during the first week of our spring break.”
The district will solicit additional feedback from staff if considerations need to be made for additional make-up days, he said.