Jefferson City, MO – School districts in Missouri must be in session for 174 days.
Roger Dorsen with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education says six more days must be added to the school calendar to account for snow days. He says they can be classified during scheduled breaks, on holidays, or at the end of the school year.
Dorsen says after those six days are used, districts must make up one day of class for every two snow days.
"And then last year," says Dorsen, "starting with this school year, they put in a provision capping the maximum number of days they have to make up at ten."
Several northeast Missouri school districts are already closing in on that number. The Canton R-V district has used 6 days while Clark County R-1 has used 7 days.
Dorsen says most districts add snow days to the end of the year as opposed to having classes on Saturdays. He says low attendance on a Saturday could hurt state funding.
Dorsen says the DESE does not track snow days during the school year. He says districts send in a final tally of days at the end of the year to make sure the 174 day requirement has been met.
Dorsen says, by contrast, Missouri schools must make up all days where classes were cancelled for any reason other than the weather. That means the decision to cancel school to combat the spread of the swine flu will add three days to the calendar for Clark County and two days for Canton.
You can hear more with Roger Dorsen by clicking the audio link above.