School day make-ups 2014.01.22

Morenci and Fayette schools have both missed too many days of school due to weather, but at this point Fayette students won't be making up any time.

Ohio districts are allowed five "calamity days" but Fayette has already had seven days of school canceled. However, the district applied for three "blizzard bag" days through the Ohio Department of Education which means that a day out of school isn't a day without homework.

"This is three days when lesson plans are put on-line and students can access these from home to complete," explained superintendent Erick Belcher. 

If a student does not have internet access, paper copies of lessons are placed in a "blizzard bag" for homework. Teachers have 10 days to prepare the blizzard bag materials.

"With this in place, we have used two blizzard bag days and have one more remaining," Belcher said. After that, days will be made up in June.

In Michigan, where it's snowier, schools are allowed to close six days, but Morenci has already missed eight and will be required to make up two—so far.

In addition to the requirement of 170 days of instruction, there's also the need for 1,098 hours in the classroom. Morenci Area High School is 45 hours ahead in that requirement and the elementary school is 14.

Next year, Belcher said, Ohio administrators will be adding up minutes spent in the classroom when the state moves to an hour system rather than one based on days.