Making up snow days: How close is your school district to the limit?

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Glenn Whiteball, 10, shovels snow on Saturday morning, Dec. 14, 2013, in Ann Arbor.

Glenn Whiteball, 10, shovels snow on Saturday morning, Dec. 14, 2013, in Ann Arbor.

The snowiest January of all time and severely cold wind chills in the Ann Arbor area have wreaked havoc on school districts’ schedules.

As of Monday, all of the public school districts in Washtenaw County had canceled school at least four times—and many districts have canceled a total of six times so far this year.

Related: Snow day: Washtenaw County schools call off classes Monday

Schools in Michigan can cancel class a total of six days before they’re required to make up the time, according to state law. Districts have to offer 170 days of instruction and 1,098 hours of class time in order to be paid their per-pupil funding from the state.

How should school districts make up snow days?

Under a Michigan law passed in 2013 for the 2012-13 school year, school districts were able to extend the length of their school days instead of adding full days of class at the end of the year in June due to excessive snow days called in some areas of the state.

Here’s a running total of snow days public school districts in Washtenaw County have left before they have to make up missed time:

  • Ann Arbor Public Schools: 2
  • Chelsea School District: 0
  • Dexter Community Schools: 2
  • Lincoln Consolidated Schools: 0
  • Manchester Community Schools: 0
  • Milan Area Schools: 0
  • Saline Area Schools: 1
  • Ypsilanti Community Schools: 0
  • Whitmore Lake Public Schools: 2

Scheduled days off in mid-January for professional development and end-of-semester records days in several districts have assisted Ann Arbor Public Schools and Ypsilanti Community Schools, among others, in saving some of their snow days.

Ypsilanti Community Schools has a longer school year of 190 days than the state-required 170 days, so any additional school cancellations can be absorbed by the calendar.

The weather forecast for Tuesday morning projects wind chills of minus 30 to minus 35 degrees by Tuesday morning. The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill warning for southeast Michigan.

Most school districts in Washtenaw County cancel classes at wind chills of minus 20 to minus 25 degrees.

Ann Arbor Public Schools will not have class Tuesday due to a scheduled professional development day that marks the end of the first semester.

Courtesy of MLive

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