FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – At least three school districts in northeast Indiana are going to take advantage of an option the state is allowing to account for days lost due to the unusually harsh winter.
This past Friday, state schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz said she was in the process of outlining options for districts that in many cases have canceled more than a week of school because of heavy snow and extreme cold. According to DeKalb County Eastern Superintendent, Dr. Jeffrey Stephens, schools were informed about the options last week.
Ritz’s office offered schools a couple new options. Under the “conditional waiver options,” schools may make up lost instructional day(s) by adding additional instructional time to each instructional day. Under “non-waiver options,” schools can hold additional full days on Saturdays.
At least three districts, DeKalb Central Schools, DeKalb County Eastern and East Noble Schools have already decided to take the Department of Education up on what Ritz called ‘conditional waivers.’ By extending school days, the districts hope to make up some of the days missed due to weather a few hours at a time.
“Saturday school leaves some problems,” Stephens said. “There’s additional costs because you’re going to have bus drivers, custodians, cooks. We have a third of our students going to summer school, and when we went to the balanced schedule, he promised students and parents that they’d be off in July. So, it’s just best to go longer in the day.”
Stephens said his district will continue with the extended hours until the days have been made up.
“When listening to parents and students, they made it very clear they wanted to limit the number of days added in June,” Ann Liason, the superintendent at East Noble Schools, said. “We are making every attempt that we can to limit those days. While this plan is not perfect and will pose challenges for some families and our very young students, it does provide students with valuable instruction at the time they need it most…now!”
DeKalb Central Schools
DeKalb Central Schools sent a release on Friday announcing that the district will begin implement an extended day schedule starting Monday, February 17 until Friday, April 4, 2014. At that time, the district will reevaluate and decide whether or not to continue the extended schedule after the spring break.
To help make up the 10 days missed, DeKalb Central Schools will also be applying for a waiver for one day. The extracurricular schedule will remain the same as will the graduation date of Saturday June 8. The schedule for schools from February 17 until Friday, April 4 will be as follows:
Extended Day Student Schedule
Elementary Students 7:50 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
DMS, DHS & Choice Students 8:10 a.m. to 4:20 p.m.
CHANGE Students Follow current schedule
Two Hour Delay Schedule
Elementary Students 9:50 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
DMS, DHS & Choice Students 10:10 a.m. to 4:20 p.m.
Three Hour Delay Schedule
Elementary Students 10:50 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
DMS, DHS & Choice Students 11:10 a.m. to 4:20 p.m.
DeKalb County Eastern
DeKalb County Eastern outlines the district’s plan on its website. It goes into effect on February 17, and remains in effect until further notice. The schedule for this district will be as follows:
School Current Schedule Revised Schedule
Eastside Junior/Senior High 8:05 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. 7:50 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Butler Elementary 8:40 a.m. to 2:40 p.m. 8:40 a.m. to 3:10 p.m.
Riverdale Elementary 8:40 a.m. to 2:40 p.m. 8:40 a.m. to 3:10 p.m.
High school students in the district will catch a bus about 15 minutes earlier than before and will be dropped off about 25 minutes later. Elementary School students will catch the bus at the same time in the morning but will be dropped off about 30 minutes later at the end of the school day.
East Noble Schools
East Noble Schools has details on the district’s plan in a letter posted on its website. Four days will be made up by adding an hour to end of each school day starting Monday, February 24 until Thursday, March 27. Make-up days of February 17, May 9, May 16, May 23, June 5 and June 6 will be used. April 18, Good Friday, will also be used as a make-up day but students who plan on attending a religious event will be excused.
At least three school districts in northeast Indiana are going to take advantage of an option the state is allowing to account for days lost due to the unusually harsh winter.