The school closings continue as the cold and snow turns to ice and freezing rain, leaving schools with a surprise, nearly two week long break.
“It is tough to keep up with the instructional time,” says Tim Haist, superintendent of Big Rapids Public Schools.
Teachers can plan for scheduled vacation breaks but when you potentially only have one day of school over a two week span, it is hard to keep kids on track. Whether the days get made up later or not.
“Our staff was able to share work for our students to be working on while they try to catch up,” says Haist, “But also we were all aware that the weather was going to get bad again and gave them some work they could work on as well.”
At Big Rapids, thanks to an August power outage and a water advisory in December, this past storm cycle has pushed them to 18 days of missed school.
“We are concerned about the amount of days we have to make up but will continue to make the best decisions to keep our kids safe,” says Haist.
This week they sent a survey to parents and staff asking where they wanted days made up, so now they have class on Presidents Day and then Friday before Easter. That’s still not enough.
“We were scheduled to finish on a Thursday and we have already extending through the next week at this point in time,” says Haist.
It’s still only early February. The Cardinals hope they can avoid hitting 20 days off and essentially a month’s worth of school.
“Our goal is to get our kids back in school as often as we can and we hope they are here every day,” says Haist, “It’s just been an unfortunate stretch.”