Snow Days Now Mean Different Things in Spring - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Snow Days Now Mean Different Things in Spring

Posted: Updated: Jan 22, 2014 10:44 PM

With the wind whipping up and temperatures dropping, superintendents across the area face the same dilemma. Riverdale's Ron Jacobs tells us, "I don't sleep real well this time of year," because he has to make the decision to cancel or not cancel class.

"Of course, any decision we make has to have the students safety first and foremost beyond any high stakes testing." That testing at Riverdale is set for March. So empty classrooms now could have an impact.

Meantime, the superintendent says snow days will have an impact on the school calendar. "We've missed two days because of a combination of the snow and the cold," Jacobs says. He tells us those are days that must be made up. In the Riverdale District, they're tacked on to the end of the year.

The Illinois calendar calls for 180 school days, then adds five proposed emergency days. The superintendent tells us any weather day after that, would be considered an "Act of God".  "Those days are not required to be made up."

But that's not the case in Iowa. "This year," North Scott Community Schools Director of Operations John Netwal says, "According to our calendar, our last official school day is may 28th. However we've had two snow days already, so those will be added on. We'll go to school the 29th and 30th."

He says it's district discretion as to when, but students will go to school for 180 days. While North Scott adds those on at the end of the year, the Clinton School District builds them in, on President's Day or the Monday after Easter.

Netwal says, "They are required to go to school 180 days. We need to get those days in, so I'm thinking if we just had like two weeks of blizzard, I'm sure we could probably add those on so we can complete that requirement."

He tells us in the past 20 years, North Scott has averaged 1.2 snow days per year. Some years with none. Others with three or four. But Riverdale's superintendent tells us the district has asked the state to approve those "Act of God" days. Most recently in 2007 when an ice storm left many without power for days.