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GRPS Close to Snow Day Quandry

GRPS Close to Snow Day Quandry


Some school districts in Michigan already exceeded their limit on snow-closing days this year, but safety comes first.  

In the big Grand Rapids school district, spokesman John Helmholdt counts five Snow Days, which is all-but unheard-of in this millennium, since travel in the developed city is much easier than in the more rural areas.

If Grand Rapids has to close more than one more day then it, too, will have to make up days somehow.  Michigan schools are allowed 6 snow days a year.

Helmholdt told WOOD Radio's The Justin Barclay Show Thursday morning that there's been no decision on how to make up the time at the moment.  He does indicate the district would find it hard to simply add-hours to the end of each school day, as the Governor has suggested.  

Currently, the state law would force an entire day to be made up, either at the end of school or by shortening Spring Break or even canceling a teacher "in-service day."  

None of those options is appealing, but more logistically feasible, says Helmholdt, than making up the time by adding a few hours  here and there, as a former law allowed.  Some lawmakers and the Governor are said to be favoring bringing that law back yet this Spring..

"We have layers of schools," he explained.  "We have Theme Schools, Centers of Innovation.  We have a regional transportation  system serving them and two-tier transportation for Preschool and Kindergarten because some are half day and some are full day."
 
In addition, the extra expenses for snow removal, heat and machinery require midyear budget adjustments that he indicated would impact staff costs for whatever make-up plan eventually is implemented.

 

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