St. Paul: Lots of snow days, but only one extra school day
- Article by: Anthony Lonetree and Paul Walsh
- Star Tribune
- March 12, 2014 - 2:47 AM
St. Paul students and families relishing vacation plans, or a simple year-end sigh of relief, now face a bit of a complication on the week of June 9.
Instead of seeing the school year end on Friday, June 6, students now are being called upon to return to class for one additional day on Monday, June 9 — a none-too-subtle tweak of the calendar caused by six days lost to this year’s brutal winter.
The district built a five-day cushion into its calendar, putting it in a more favorable position than many other districts, which were forced to schedule multiple makeup days.
But Superintendent Valeria Silva, writing in the district’s online weekly update, acknowledged that changing the last day of school to a Monday could be disruptive to families with plans for camps, vacations or other scheduled activities.
“More information will follow with instructions on how to respond to families who will undoubtedly already have plans that mean their students may not be present on that day,” she wrote in her weekly note to colleagues.
Districts across the state have looked at shrinking spring break or using teacher development time to make up days lost to severe weather.
St. Paul did have a nonschool day available on April 18. But Toya Stewart Downey, a district spokeswoman, said Monday that the date was part of a pool of professional development days for which many teachers already have been excused, having attended a development day earlier in the school year.
“We couldn’t take the day away from them, nor could we hire enough substitute teachers to cover those classrooms for that day,” she said.
The district also opted to tack the day onto the end of the year rather than cut into spring break because it gives families more time to plan, she said. Families unable to put off previously scheduled plans “should know they can follow their school’s policies for absences that day,” she added.
Anthony Lonetree • 651-925-5036 Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482
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