Seattle Schools Decides on Snow Make-Up Days

From SPS Communications:
The winter weather and related schedule changes have been a challenge for many and we thank you for your patience. In February, school closed for five days due to the series of snow storms.
This year’s school calendar included two make-up days in June (June 21 and 24); the three additional make-up days will be added to the calendar following those days as outlined in the 2019 Collective Bargaining Agreement, with the Seattle Education Association.
The last day of school for students in grades preschool through 11 will be June 27.

The priority of the district is to provide high-quality instruction to all our students and ensure they are academically prepared. The decision to extend school until June 27 was made with this goal in mind and in consultation with the Seattle Education Association. While we recognize extending the school year may be challenging for some families, we also know that the amount of instructional time a student spends with their teacher is one of the most important factors in learning.

High school graduation dates will not change. Read more about graduationIn order to meet the state’s instructional time requirement, the last day of school for students in 12th grade will be June 20. Students will be expected to finish any outstanding coursework or exams required for graduation. High school principals will communicate further updates specific to their school over the coming weeks. 

See the revised school year dates for 2018-19.
I assume this means the district will not ask OSPI for any waivers.

I have to smile at this:

 " the amount of instructional time a student spends with their teacher is one of the most important factors in learning."

An effective teacher can be effective until the last day of school but experience shows us that many teachers give up and just show movies.  I think those last days might be a great time to focus on art curriculum which students would enjoy and, if done correctly, would enhance the learning they have already done.

Noting upfront that more snow may come next Sunday, March 3rd, or Monday, March 4th, this news may change.


Anonymous said…
Wish they would instead make up time making Wednesdays a full day as one teacher had suggested in another thread.

A parent
Anonymous said…
And the whining from those who have airplane tickets to hiking in Europe...beaches in Hawaii...grandparents in Florida...cousins in Cali starts in 3...2...1.

Listen, we get it. Just take the kids and go. Your students might have unexcused absences but they and you will live. Just spare us the outrage that there are minimum standards of school time. Seattle schools have a lot of issues but forecasting for recordbusting snow isn't one of them.

Feel sorry for people who make their living on summer camps. That's a week of revenue down the drain.

Another Parent
Anonymous said…
I know Shoreline looked at making early release Wednesdays longer that but even then they weren’t able to make up the missing required minimum hours. Shoreline had a clear explanation of how they came to their decision to add on days. I suspect Seattle was in the same situation but it would’ve been nice if they would have communicated it.

Nw parent
Anonymous said…
@ Another Parent, if you want to make this into a privilege issue, as you seem to be doing, why not advocate for longer school years just for just the less affluent kids? Maybe districts could use some sort of averaging formula, whereby you attend only 170 days if you're above a certain income, 180 days if you're average income, and 190 days if you're FRL (and/or ELL, SPED, whatever). That would be more equitable, giving more to those who need it -- it would be a form of additional free childcare for those who most need it, too. Why go with the same minimum standard for all, when clearly some need more? Starting school a couple weeks early could be a great benefit to kids who are struggling--and since they don't have all those fancy vacation plans, they should be available, right?

I don't have summer plans so don't really care when school ends this year, but I do hate to send my kids somewhere where they're going to just waste their time instead of learning, which is what they'd rather do. Unless I hear from the teachers that they actually ARE going to be doing important learning on those days--that they aren't just play days, because the teachers feel they need to cover everything important by the original deadline--I'll keep my kids home and let them read and make things.

Snow use
Anonymous said…
There are no ramifications to students in K-8 for missing the extended week of school.

checks out
Student Union said…
Well, if the legal contract with the 4,000 teachers says we have to have school until June 27, then I don't see what the 50,000 kids and their 50,000 families in the district are whining about. You want summer vacation? Show me your contract, kids!
Anonymous said…
What do you mean "no K8 ramifications"?

Anonymous said…
Seattle Times article makes clear this is a decision made not around student learning. It's about teachers getting paid. At least according to the article. Generally like the Seattle Times but think it has a definite anti-SPS slant on many of its articles. So maybe this is about making the teacher's union look bad. Or maybe the union really is the bad guy here. Dunno.

ST Subscriber
Anonymous said…
Newbie - high school students might miss final exams if they leave early and this could affect their grades, which are important. Grades are meaningless in K-8.
Quarantine Questions said…
The union already negotiated where the snow days would go (onto the end of the school year). So nothing has changed. Except that the weather gave us a lot of snow days this year. And no one has the power to do anything about what the teachers' union already codified into a legally binding contract. The teachers may not want this anymore now either, now that there are actual snow days to actually make up. But they don't have a choice either. All they can do is change the next contract.

Students and families won't get any say then either. So, we can always hope that out of the benevolent goodness of their hearts that they do what we want. But that's all the say students and families get.

I wonder what happens if the public schools get shut down for a month or two due to a health quarantine. Like what happened with influenza in 1918-19. Apparently L.A. switched to correspondence courses for older students...
Anonymous said…
"Grades are meaningless in K-8."

Not completely true. Middle school grades can be important if a student intends to apply to private school for high school (or the latter part of middle school); if a student intends to apply to the Robinson Center's programs; if a student intends to apply for a competitive summer program or internship or scholarship; and so on. Grades may also impact whether or not a student is allowed to move to the next level of a class in middle school, or when they move up to high school.

Ironically, this may keep some of the most academically oriented students in school for the most academically useless week of all.

all types

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